THE LIFE AND
MRS. ADRIAN PORTER
291. . /3
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF
SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
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THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF
SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATQN B T
BY HIS DAUGHTER MRS ADRIAN PORTER
WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS
In my opinion the work of Sir John Henniker
Heaton has done more to draw the Empire
together than all the speeches of all the statesmen
on both sides of the ocean.
Earl Curzon of Kedleston.
LONDON JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD
NEW YORK JOHN LANE COMPANY MCMXVI
Printed in Great Britain
iy Tumbullfy Sjtars, Edinburgh
TO OUR DEAR
THIS BOOK IS INSCRIBED
ADMIRATION AND LOVE
5 OF HER
CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN
BY THE RIGHT HONBLE. SIR GEORGE REID, P.C.,
G.C.M.G., HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR AUSTRALIA
I KNEW Sir John Henniker Heaton well in
Australia, and since 1909 well in England. Per-
haps the two leading attributes of his personality
on the emotional side were his intense public
spirit and his unfailing geniality. Loving hands have
written his life. As one of the inner circle of his
friends, I can add a hearty endorsement of the filial
tribute to his memory.
I came to know him many years ago. Mr Samuel
Bennett brought us together in Sydney. Mr Bennett
was one of the best Englishmen I knew in Australia.
By sheer force of character, backed up by a robust
intellect, with little capital and no patronage, he
established the fortune of two most successful news-
papers in Sydney, one a daily and the other a weekly.
What is more, Samuel Bennett was in the forefront
of those public benefactors whose success, great as
it was, was not greater than the fine impression it
enabled him to make upon public opinion and
The fact that such a man " took to " the subject
of this biography and gave him his important start
in life, as well as his only daughter, who was the
crowning happiness of Sir John Henniker Heaton's
life, in itself " speaks volumes " in favour of the man
who afterwards became " the Member for Australia."
viii SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
I suppose no man outside ministerial circles exer-
cised a stronger or more useful influence upon " red
tape " administration during the past thirty years
than did this great Postal Reformer.
In many ways the tremendous obstacles to human
intercourse, which distance involves, have been lessened
by modern invention and commercial enterprise.
But for the labours of Sir John the splendid successes
that have been slowly but surely won by that David
of Reform over the Goliath of Post Office routine
might have been indefinitely postponed. Sometimes
such humanizing victories are dearly bought. Not
so with a system of penny postages covering world-
wide distances. Not so with the marvellous expansion
of electrified messages between mind and mind and
market and market, which means the creation of new
worlds of intellectual as well as industrial progress.
Those great achievements have been a source of
wealth beyond " the dreams of avarice " in the case
of private enterprise, and the fears of ruin which
daunted the custodians of postal revenues have been
converted into magnificent profits.
The bodily presence of our friend has returned to
dust, but his spirit may often look down gladly upon
world-wide spheres which have been brightened by
his devoted dauntless labours labours that contain
germs of even greater blessings in the years to come.
MY grateful thanks are due to Earl Curzon,
Lord Blyth, Lord Beresford, Sir George
Reid, Sir Charles Bruce, Mr Herbert
Samuel, Mr Austen Chamberlain, Com-
mendatore Marconi, Mr Wilfrid Meynell, Mr T. P.
O'Connor, Colonel R. W. Renshaw, Mr William
Heaton, Mr Harry Brittain, and Mrs Algernon Paget,
for the help they have given me ; and to all those who
have kindly allowed their letters to be published.
My acknowledgments are also due to the Editors of
The Times, The Nineteenth Century, The Daily Graphic,
The Graphic, and to the Editor of The Leisure Hour,
for permission to quote at length from an article in
that Magazine, entitled "The Mother of Parliaments"
The postal statistics and facts are taken in all cases
from my father's publications and private notes.
I. A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY 3
II. As MEMBER FOR CANTERBURY IN THE HOUSE . 13
III. As MEMBER FOR CANTERBURY IN THE CONSTITUENCY 39
IV. As A CHESS-PLAYER 51
V. As A TRAVELLER, i. BY LAND ... 57
VI. As A TRAVELLER. 2. BY WATER ... 70
VII. As A HOST 103
VIII. AT HOME 117
IX. A PEN PORTRAIT 126
X. A CHAPTER BY T. P. O'CONNOR . . . 131
XI. AMONG FRIENDS 137
XII. SOME AUSTRALIAN MEMORIES .... 158
XIII. As A POSTAL REFORMER . .'".. 171
XIV. As A POSTAL REFORMER (continued) . . .198
XV. THE FIGHT FOR PENNY POSTAGE WITH AUSTRALIA 215
XVI. PENNY-E-WORD TELEGRAMS .... 222
xii SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
XVII. AN IDEAL POST OFFICE 232
XVIII. RECOGNITION 240
XIX. REQUIESCAT IN PACE 248
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON. Photogravure . . Frontispiece
TO FACE PAGE
" ROSE LORRAINE." LADY HENNIKER HEATON . . 8
H. H. (AGED 36} WHEN HE FIRST ENTERED PARLIAMENT . 14
CARTOON BY F. C. G., " DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW " . 38
A LUNCHEON PARTY GIVEN BY SIR BENJAMIN STONE IN THE
HOUSE OF COMMONS 56
THE MULREADY ENVELOPE ... ... 62
ENVELOPE ISSUED BY ELIHU BURRITT ADVOCATING OCEAN-
PENNY POSTAGE ....... 62
FACSIMILE LETTER FROM ELIHU BURRITT ... 70
COMMENDATORE GUGLIELMO MARCONI . . . . 98
H. H. AND MARCONI ON CORONATION DAY, 1902, AT THE
HOUSE OF COMMONS 106
LADY HENNIKER HEATON 116
IN THE CHAIR: H. H. AT THE SAVAGE CLUB . . . 144
LETTER FROM MARK TWAIN TO H. H. ACKNOWLEDGING HIS
INDEBTEDNESS FOR MONEY SAVED IN POSTAGE . . 192
FIRST LETTER FROM AMERICA TO ENGLAND BEARING A
PENNY STAMP ........ 192
xiv SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
TO FACE PAGE
OLD LETTER FROM AUSTRALIA BEARING SIXPENNY STAMP,
FIRST AERIAL LETTER POSTED IN ENGLAND, 1911 . . 216
FIRST LETTER POSTED TO AUSTRALIA BY H. H., BEARING
THE PENNY STAMP, 1905 . . . . . . 218
FIRST LETTER POSTED BY THE P.M.G. OF AUSTRALIA, THE
HON. JOSIAH THOMAS, BEARING A PENNY STAMP, 1911 218
THE MARTIN LUTHER OF THE POST OFFICE . . . 232
FACSIMILE LETTER OF THE AMERICAN VICE- AND DEPUTY
CONSUL AT KARLSBAD, DATED SIST AUGUST 1914 . 248
THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF
SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF
SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
A MAN of Kent, John Henniker Heaton was
born at Rochester, on the i8th of May,
1848. He was the only son of Lt.-Colonel
John Heaton, of Heaton, Lancashire, born
1810, who married, May 8th, 1841, Elizabeth Anne,
daughter of John Henniker, 1 of Rochester, and died
The early years of John Henniker Heaton's life
were spent in the old Cathedral city of Rochester,
where his father was quartered. His happiest
memories of boyhood were those of the long summer
hours he spent bathing in the Medway and, after
a swim, lying on the banks reading and re-reading
his favourite books, 'The Pathfinder" and "The
Last of the Mohicans," and dreaming the long, long
dreams of boyhood.
He had an almost passionate love for books of
adventure and sea voyage, a love intensified, perhaps,
by the rigid discipline of his home, where day-dreams
were forbidden, and unquestioning obedience enjoined
as the chief virtue of childhood.
1 See " Hennikers of Senham," in Hasted's "History of Kent.'
4 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
He was educated at Kent House School, an old
double-fronted Georgian building of rather curious
aspect, which is now a private house. As a schoolboy,
the future Postal Reformer was remarkable chiefly
for his gift of memorizing poetry and prose. At the
age of ten he knew by heart the whole of Pope's
" Essay on Man," and could recite page after page
of Motley's " Rise of the Dutch Republic." The
historic associations of old Rochester, the Cathedral,
the Castle overlooking the great stretch of river, could
hardly fail to arouse in a boy feelings of romance
At the age of sixteen, after pursuing his studies
at King's College, " Adventure lit her stars " for
him, and he was free to roam the world at his
In those days Australia was looked upon as a
kind of Promised Land for younger sons, and their
impoverished elder brothers, and it was to Australia
that John Heaton's eyes were eagerly turned. With
a light heart and a still lighter pocket, he left England
for the country of sunshine that was to be his adopted
home for many years, and where after some vicissitudes
he was to gain his first experience of the good fortune
that followed him ever after. Those who knew him
at that period speak of him as a tall, thin youth, with
deep hollows showing beneath his high cheek bones,
eyes large and kindling and an indescribable " some-
thing " that marked him out.
The first part of his life in Australia was spent
in the bush, where he found employment on the great
sheep stations. With no previous experience of
agricultural life, he made all the blunders and mis-
takes peculiar to young Englishmen fresh out from
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY 5
home. Here he built up the iron constitution that
was to stand him in such good stead in later years,
and here, too, he made friendships that were to last
as long as life itself. During the months he spent
in solitary rides from one isolated station to another,
the seeds were sown of his future campaign in the
cause of cheapening postal and telegraphic communi-
cation throughout the world.
Leaving the bush, John Heat on spent some happy
years in Parramatta, where he joined the staff of
" The Mercury." For three months, December 1869-
February 1870, he acted as Town Clerk of Parramatta.
Fate, " playing her wonted phantasy," decreed that
he should next edit a paper in Goulbourn with the
predestined title 'The Penny Post." From "The
Penny Post " he passed on to " The Times " of
Parramatta a natural transition in view of the part
he was later to act as connecting link between another
" Penny Post " and another " Times."
His next move was to Sydney, where he joined
the staff of ' The Australian Town and Country
Journal." This journal and "The Evening News"
were owned by Mr Samuel Bennett, the doyen of
Australian journalists, and author of an exhaustive
work on Australian history.
Mr Bennett was a remarkable example of the
men of high character who in those early days had
already succeeded in making the Australian press
honoured and respected. Though he was never in
Parliament, no Cabinet was ever formed without
obtaining his views and advice. The son of a Cornish-
man, he united in his personality the integrity and
bluntness of speech of his compatriots with the kindest
of hearts and the most generous of instincts. " A
6 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
hater of sham and humbugs " was said of him in his
life and might serve for his epitaph.
" He was the best friend I ever had " was the
description of him given by John Heat on, who was
deeply grateful for the good fortune that brought him
under the influence of Mr Bennett's erudition.
After working some time on " The Australian Town
and Country Journal" there came a memorable day
when John Heaton was bidden to luncheon at Mr
Bennett's home. Presiding over the table was the
lady who was to share his life for forty-one years of
radiant happiness. Rose Bennett was the only
daughter of the house, and the beloved sister of her
three younger brothers. There is a charming portrait
of her at this period, showing her dark wavy hair
parted in the middle and her soft dark eyes. It was
perhaps more her sweetness of expression, gentle
voice and dignity of bearing than any special regu-
larity of feature that won for her the admiration she
received in so large a measure. She is celebrated
as " Rose Lorraine " in the poem of that name by
Henry Kendall. This poem has been described as
one of the three saddest love-poems in the English
Sweet watermoons blown into lights
Of flying gold on pool and creek,
And many sounds and many sights
Of younger days are back this week.
I cannot say I sought to face
Or greatly cared to cross again
The subtle spirit of the place
Whose life is mixed with Rose Lorraine.
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
What though her voice rings clearly through
A nightly watch I gladly keep,
No wish have I to start anew
Heart fountains that have ceased to leap,
Here face to face with different days
And later things that plead for love,
It would be worse than wrong to raise
A phantom far too fain to move.
But, Rose Lorraine ah, Rose Lorraine,
I'll whisper now where no one hears,
If you should chance to meet again
The man you kissed in soft dead years,
Just say for once, " He suffered much,"
And add to this " His fate was worst
Because of me my voice my touch "
There is no passion like the first.
If I that breathe your slow sweet name,
As one breathes low notes on a flute,
Have vexed your peace with word of blame,
The phrase is dead, the lips are mute.
But when I turn towards the wall
In days of storm in nights of rain,
I often wish you would recall
Your tender speeches, Rose Lorraine.
Because you see I thought them true
And did not count you self-deceived,
And gave myself in all to you,
And looked on love as Life achieved.
Then came the sudden bitter change,
The fastened lips, the dumb despair,
The first few weeks were very strange,
And long and sad and hard to bear.
No woman lives with power to burst
My passion's bonds and set me free,
For Rose is last where Rose was first,
And only Rose is fair to me.
The faintest memory of her face,
That wilful face that hurt me so,
Is followed by a fiery trace
That Rose Lorraine must never know.
8 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
I keep a faded ribbon string
You used to wear about your throat,
And of this pale this perished thing,
I think I know its threads by rote.
God help such love, to hold your hand,
To linger where your feet might fall,
You marvellous girl ! my soul would stand
The worst of hell its fires and all.
On July i6th, 1873, the marriage between John
Henniker Heaton and Rose Bennett took place at
St James's Church, Sydney.
No one who knew John Heaton intimately could
doubt that he owed much of his success to the happi-
ness of his married life, where he found in his wife
the sympathy and companionship that is so essential
to a public man. Those meeting Lady Heaton for
the first time little dreamed of the depth of character
that lay beneath her gracious gentle manner. Her
sincerity of heart, her loyalty to friends and her
intense love of truth won the respect of all her circle.
Her sound critical judgment was greatly valued by
her husband, who never wrote an article or prepared
a speech without referring it to her opinion.
On her advice he would leave out what he de-
scribed as " the best part of all," but when results
had justified the omission he was the first to acknow-
ledge its wisdom. Sir John and Lady Henniker
Heaton remained lovers all their life : when separated,
not a day passed without an interchange of letters ;
and he spoke of her always as " my dear little
During the early years of their married life John
Heaton nearly succumbed to an attack of typhoid
fever. Hope was given up by the doctors, and in
consequence of a premature notice of his death in the
(LADY HENNIKER HEATON)
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY 9
newspapers a funeral wreath arrived at the house !
But his wife's devoted nursing undoubtedly saved
his life. When all hope was over and he was thought
to be sinking, she had the courage to disobey the
doctors, who had stopped further nourishment as
useless. She insisted on continuing the treatment
so long as life remained unextinguished. Her calm-
ness and courage won the day, and she had the joy
of nursing him back to restored health and vigour.
For ten years after their marriage they made
their home in Australia, during which time John
Henniker Heaton became connected with the public
life of Sydney. He was the author of a standard
book of reference, " The Australian Dictionary of Dates
and Men of the Time."
In 1882, he stood for Parliament as a candidate
for the electorate of young New South Wales, but
was defeated by a small majority. Mr P. W. Crowe,
of Brisbane, has supplied the following notes :
"It is now three and thirty years since I first
met Sir John Henniker Heaton, when I was a candi-
date with him in his first entry into political life.
" He was then in the prime of life, a man of
imposing presence, well built, tall, dark, and active,
while his bearing was extremely courteous and kind
' The elections of New South Wales about this
time were of an exciting character. The education
question was at fever height. The abolition of state
aid to Denominational Schools was uppermost in the
minds of the people. Archbishop Vaughan took a
great part in the controversy as well as other Roman
Catholic and Anglican Clergy, who eloquently opposed
the onslaught of the Parks Government on the schools.
io SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
" We threw in our lot with the denominationalists,
and fought for the rights of conscience. The two
other issues we put before the electorate were the
crediting of the annual rent payable to the Crown
by selectors in payment of the purchase money, and
the policy of protection. The former would help to
settle people on the land and the latter to convert
N.S.W. into a manufacturing country. The policy
which we advocated is now the policy of not only
N.S.W. but all Australia.
' These were the days of the roaring camp when
Timora Gold Field broke out. There were upwards
of 10,000 miners in the field of whom few, unfortunately
for us, had votes. We had their sympathy, their
substantial help, and their regrets when we were
defeated at the ballot box by a very small majority."
For John Henniker Heaton this was a disappoint-
ment that was to have far-reaching results. It
turned his thoughts to England, and a parliamentary
career that might be open for him in his native country
as member for a Kentish constituency.
In 1883 he represented New South Wales as
Commissioner at the Amsterdam Exhibition ; he
also represented Tasmania at the Berlin International
Telegraphic Conference, where he succeeded in getting
a very large reduction in the cost of cable messages
to Australia. He was appointed Commissioner for
New South Wales at the Indian and Colonial Ex-
hibition in London in 1886, and throughout his life
he never ceased to forward Australian interests.
" The Member for Australia " was a name conferred
The year 1884 saw him and his family settled in
London, which was henceforth to be their home.
At the General Election of 1885, John Henniker
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY u
Heaton was returned as Conservative member for
Canterbury, which seat he held for twenty-six years,
when ill-health caused him to retire from Parliament
at the dissolution of 1910.
His work as a Postal Reformer is dealt with fully
in another part of the book. His title by common
consent was that of Father of Imperial Penny Postage.
Owing to his exertions, the cost of cabling to differ-
ent parts of the world was very greatly reduced.
Imperial Penny Postage first came into force on
Christmas day 1898 ; Anglo-American postage was
won by him in 1908 ; Anglo- Australian Penny Postage
His valuable work was warmly recognized. The
Freedom of the City of London was presented to him
in a gold casket in July 1899, and in the same year
he was given the Freedom of the City of Canterbury
in a silver casket.
In 1911, while visiting Australia, a baronetcy
was conferred on him, and on his return a public
welcome at the Guildhall was given to him under
the auspices of the British Empire League. Dis-
tinguished representatives of the Empire, presided
over by Lord Curzon, were gathered together to do
Sir John Henniker Heaton refused a K.C.M.G.
four times ; on the last occasion, owing to his absence
abroad he was actually gazetted, but he never used
He was succeeded by his eldest son, John, 2nd
Lt. Welsh Horse, who was born 1877, and served with
loth Batt. Oxford Yeomanry in South Africa (medal,
3 clasps). He married, in 1902, The Hon. Katharine
Mary Sermonda Burrell, only surviving child of the
12 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
fifth Baron Gwydyr, and has three sons and one
This then, in brief, is the life story of the Postal
Reformer, Sir John Henniker Heaton.
It has been thought best to divide the book into
chapters illustrating the different characteristics and
divers interests of Sir John as Postal Reformer,
Politician, and Traveller.
Some one once said to him that his great work
would never be forgotten.
" Perhaps not," he replied, " but all my good stories
will be forgotten, even by my children."
An endeavour has been made in these pages to
preserve some of his favourite stories of his fellow-men
and their doings.
It may be urged that, in trying to paint a picture
of Sir John and his contemporaries, the canvas has
become so overcrowded that there is a danger of
being " unable to see the wood for the trees." I
can only say that it is impossible to visualize Sir John
as a solitary figure. Always one sees him surrounded
by a crowd of friends, always one hears his hearty
laugh ringing out above the rest. So clear grows the
vision that even as I write I can almost see the familiar
group almost hear the happy voices.
AS MEMBER FOR CANTERBURY
I. IN THE HOUSE
IN 1885 H. H. made a pilgrimage to Canterbury
to seek the suffrage of the ecclesiastical capital
of the Empire. The morning he left London
for the election he was waylaid on the steps of
his Club by Lord Halsbury, who thrust a kindly arm
through his, saying :
" I hear you are going down to Canterbury. They
are sure to ask you if you are in favour of payment
of Members, but you must reply that you are in
favour of the good old practice of payment for voters
and a pension for them afterwards."
After an agreeably contested fight, H. H. was duly
elected Conservative Member for Canterbury with
a majority of rather over a thousand.
Never a good speaker, H. H. from the first devoted
his energies to harassing the life of the Postmaster-
General then Mr Cecil Raikes by asking questions
on Post Office Administration. H. H.'s persistent
questioning, if a source of irritation to the Postmaster-
General, was the cause of some amusement to the
House of Commons.
Old members will recall the cheers and laughter
that greeted the announcement that " the Honourable
Member for Canterbury will be relieved to hear
that henceforth ' mother-in-law ' will be counted as
14 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
one word in a telegram, and an additional grievance
to the relationship will thus be removed." The
Honourable Member for Canterbury replied that he
was not in a position to benefit by the change, as he
grieved to say that his mother-in-law had long been
in a better world. His efforts for the reform had been
made solely on behalf of Honourable Members who
were not so unfortunately situated as himself.
The use of questions in the House, which H. H.
found so effective a weapon, did not however commend
itself to all the members of his family. There was a
small midshipman son who did not fail to express his
views on the matter. One day when R. was home
on leave H. H. said to him :
" I am always very glad to get your letters, but
I notice you never tell me anything of interest about
" No, thank you," replied the small midshipman,
" too many of our fellows have had their careers
simply ruined by their fathers asking questions in
" One day in the Parliamentary calendar," wrote
" The Manchester Courier," " is Mr Henniker Heaton's
own particular festival the day on which the Vote
for the salary of the Postmaster-General comes up
for discussion. In the intervals between the re-
currence of these festivals the great mundane move-
ment goes on, apparently unheeded by the member
for Canterbury : the House of Commons sees little
of him and hears him still less. Irish Land Bills
are introduced, Army schemes are agitated, crises in
the Far East come and go, but the elect of Canterbury
gives no sign. While the world with careless levity
permits itself to be distracted by all this multitude
of interests, Mr Henniker Heaton keeps his searching
H.H. (AGED 36) WHEN HE FIRST ENTERED PARLIAMENT
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 15
gaze fixed upon the goings out and the comings in
of the Postmaster-General. Nothing happens at St
Martins-le-Grand but he hath note of it. Nay, that
is ludicrously to understate the case. Nothing happens
in the smallest post office of the most remote and
obscure township of the whole Empire but Mr Henniker
Heat on hears of it, and duly enters the circumstances
in his inexorable record. He collects grievances as
another man collects postage stamps or pictorial post
cards ; he has a museum of them, and his supremest
satisfaction in life is to display his collection to the
House of Commons and to dilate with affectionate
pride on the rarer and more curious specimens."
When H. H. entered the House, there were more
men of " light and leading " than in any previous
On the Government benches, were Sir Michael
Hicks Beach, W. H. Smith, Goschen, Balfour, Lord
Randolph Churchill, Sir Richard Webster, Sir Edward
Clarke, J. P. B. Robertson, Colonel Saunderson, Lord
Charles Beresford, Sir John Gorst, and Sir Richard
On the Opposition side, Gladstone, Chamberlain,
Bright, Sir William Harcourt, Parnell, Bradlaugh,
Sir Charles Russell, Frank Lockwood, Right Hon.
A. W. Peel (the Speaker), and Sir Robert Peel.
The remarkable sight was seen of four brothers
being sworn in simultaneously : Lords George, Claude,
Frederick, and Ernest Hamilton.
The early years of H. H.'s parliamentary life were
memorable for the struggle that surged round the
Home Rule question, the close divisions and fierce
debates when the House sat all night.
Whatever the supporters of Home Rule may
feel, the withdrawal of the Irish Members from
16 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Westminster will deprive the House of much of its
interest and colour.
Parnell and H. H. were on friendly terms. " Un-
known and unknowable, trusting least those on whom
he most depends, he rules Ireland by the absence of
every quality usually attributed to Irishmen."
From Kilmainham, Parnell frequently wrote to
H. H. saying that a firmer alliance could be made
with the Conservative Party on educational and
religious questions than with the Liberal Party ;
and at one time Parnell worked hard to make what
he called " business " terms with the Conservatives.
Parnell's powers of detachment were remarkable.
He came into the House one afternoon when the fiercest
excitement prevailed, regarding the publication by
" The Times " of the forged letters.
In a short speech, he denied the authorship of
the letters, and then walking into the Lobby engaged
H. H. in earnest conversation. Every one thought
he was speaking of the political event then stirring
men's minds in reality this is what Parnell said :
" I have just read in the afternoon paper that a
mountain of gold has been discovered in Western
Australia and that some tons of the specimens have
been sent home to you."
H. H. replied that it was true, and gave Parnell
about a wineglassful of the " crushing." He took
it away with him, and to the bewilderment of his
party no one saw him for a week, and very few indeed
knew his address. On that day week, almost at
the same hour, he again appeared in the lobby. Walk-
ing up to H. H. he said, smilingly :
" I have analysed the specimens, and they go
thirty-two ounces of gold to the ton." H. H. said
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 17
he was wrong. Parnell then took from his pocket,
a scrap of paper and read " twenty-seven ounces
of gold and five ounces of silver." H. H. replied that
this was indeed remarkable, for it exactly coincided
with the analysis of Messrs Johnson, Matthey &
Co., the famous metallurgists. Parnell then showed
the small pin's point of gold he had obtained to H. H.
who expressed surprise at his work.
" The fact is," said Parnell, " I take an interest in
the matter. I have a small workshop to test the
minerals in the mountains of Wicklow, some portion
of which I own."
While his hundred of thousands of adherents were
fulminating against " The Times," he was quietly
working away testing minerals in his laboratory !
Among the many famous men who sat in the
House when H. H. first entered it, there was perhaps
none who made a more vivid impression on his mind
than Lord Randolph Churchill. The following letter,
marked " Private," was written in the summer of 1887,
after his meteoric and disastrous resignation, when
the estrangement from his recent colleagues was still
wide and unbridged :
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
" I am not able to make speeches in the country
without having given to them beforehand several
hours of thought. Now how can I find this time just
The study and work necessary to make the Army
and Navy Estimates Committee useful absorbs all
my time. Further the * * * and Co. lot have
behaved so infamously to me, that I cannot bring
myself to speak in any part of the country where they
may be benefited by my so speaking. When times
are more propitious, which they may be possibly
18 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
before very long, it would give me great pleasure to
address your constituents at Canterbury. In the
meantime I pray a little patience.
Yours very truly,
RANDOLPH S. CHURCHILL.
" The sooner the Tories learn that the combination
Salisbury, Goschen, and Smith is useless for election
purposes, the sooner their defeats will come to an end."
One evening H. H. was dining with Lord Randolph
Churchill when the latter was in a mood half-pessi-
mistic, half-playful. Their wants were attended to
by an old waiter called Brown, a well-known character
in the Member's Dining-Room.
"Ah, well," said Lord Randolph, "it's a great
comfort to feel that when I die I can at least be sure
that Brown will put a wreath on my grave."
' With the greatest of pleasure, my lord," replied
the faithful Brown, stepping forward with a low bow.
It was Lord Randolph Churchill who performed
the feat and thereby won a wager of running across
Westminster Bridge while Big Ben was striking
twelve. H. H. was among those who knew Lord
Randolph at the zenith of his power and political
fame, and none of Lord Randolph's friends grieved
more genuinely when the tide turned.
There was one memorable evening when he was
speaking in the House. His voice grew husky and
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, turned to a new
and totally obscure member with the request :
" Would it compromise you to get me a glass of
water ? "
The satirical note belying the apparent humility
of the request could hardly pass unnoticed.
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 19
At this time Gladstone, though in Opposition,
was the most interesting personality in the House,
and every story about him was treasured up and
passed from mouth to mouth.
Some one once wished to know where Gladstone
was to be found.
" Oh," was the reply, " Gladstone has gone to the
provinces, to explain the difference between Eternal
Rigorous in maintaining the rules of the House,
Gladstone would never overlook the slightest in-
fringement on the part of any member. One quiet
summer evening when the House was almost empty
H. H. found himself sitting next Admiral Sir Edward
Commerell. His attention was attracted by Glad-
stone sitting on the front Opposition bench frowning
with every sign of annoyance. As Sir Edward did
not stir, Gladstone rose and went up to the Speaker.
The Serjeant-at-Arms then approached Sir Edward,
and told him that he was out of order as at least one
foot should be resting on the floor of the House. Sir
Edward had one foot curled up under him, and the
other partly on the bench, a grave breach of order.
The House laughed, but Gladstone had shown the
members a rule and carried his point. His instinctive
Conservatism had asserted itself.
Although opposed in politics, H. H. always spoke
of "' the honour of having sat in the House with
Gladstone." Among his papers there is a letter,
dated February loth, 1891, from Gladstone in reply
to a message of condolence.
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
I thank you heartily, and I know that in thank-
ing you I thank many. In a great affliction, a most
20 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
heavy loss, God has been most kind to us, and so has
Be assured I had never dreamed that barriers
erected by the necessities of politics would check the
flow of human sympathy within your walls.
With every good wish,
W. E. GLADSTONE.
Early in his political life H. H. was presented to
Lady Salisbury, by the late Lord Salisbury, as " a
supporter of mine who is engaged in sticking the
Empire together with a penny stamp." At the same
time Lord Salisbury went on to say that when he
visited Australia twenty-six years before he had
brought home some young Australian gum-trees,
which were then flourishing in the home of his nephew,
Arthur Balfour, at Whittingehame.
There was a certain young Welsh Member who
made a rather striking speech in the House one day.
H. H. stopped him in the Lobby to congratulate him.
Many years later Mr Lloyd George surprised H. H.
by recalling the incident, adding :
" You were the first Tory Member who ever said
an encouraging word to me, and I have never forgotten
A tragic occurrence once took place in the House
of which H. H. was a witness. H. H. was sitting in
the gallery with Kitchener listening to a debate on
a public grant of money for the hero of Omdurman.
A member rose to oppose the motion. While speaking
his voice became unsteady, and his hands lost their
power. Brandy was brought to him. He sat down
for an instant and then rose again to resume his speech.
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 21
He dropped the glass of brandy and fell into the arms
of some fellow-members. He was carried out to the
back of the Speaker's chair and died a few hours later.
This was Mr Wallace, one of the members for Edinburgh,
who made an immense but short-lived reputation
in the House by his witty and audacious speeches.
From the commencement, H. H. was an advocate
of votes being given to women of property, and he
was one of the backers of the Conciliation Bill. He
was totally opposed to Militancy, and thought with
many others that the women's cause was seriously
injured by its adoption. H. H. was one day attending
a banquet at the Guildhall when one of the beautiful
stained glass windows was broken by a suffragette.
Some splinters of glass fell upon him, slightly cutting
his head. Christabel Pankhurst made the amende
honorable by a charming letter of apology.
After a demonstration made in the House of
Commons, it became necessary to close the Ladies'
Gallery to all except personal relatives of honourable
Members, who were responsible for their good be-
haviour. The closing of the Gallery entailed much
hardship on many women genuinely interested hi
politics, who were thus debarred from listening to
Many were the devices adopted by obliging members
to establish " cousinships " with their fair friends
who wanted tickets for the Ladies' Gallery. The
most ingenuous excuse offered in exculpation was
that of Mr Dudley Ward, the good-looking young
member for Southampton, who explained gravely
that both his guests had promised to be sisters to him.
It was impossible to be with H. H. in the House
without realizing how deeply he loved every stone
22 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
in the building, and what pride he felt in its glorious
traditions. He was never tired of showing his friends
over the beautiful old hall and the little chapel in
the crypt, where his grandson, Peter Joseph Henniker
Heaton, was christened.
The great stretch of water seen from the Terrace,
with the old Palace of Lambeth across the way, held
for him a never failing charm. In brief, he enjoyed
every moment he spent in the House, and when he
left he carried away recollections of a lifetime's
H. H. was a very regular attendant at the debates
and could be relied on to be in his place when wanted
for a snap division a condition that requires more
self-sacrifice than is usually credited to members.
There was one summer when the whips of both
parties were on the alert to prevent any accidents
happening, and on one occasion men were stationed
outside the church where Sir Charles Cayzer's daughter
was being married to Captain Madden now Admiral
Madden to catch the members as they came out of
church and send them back post haste to the Commons.
Mr Birrell's plaintive voice found an echo in the
breast of many honourable Members when he spoke
to his Bath audience :
" I may inadvertently have gone home for dinner
occasionally ; but, gentlemen, when you have to
choose between an angry whip and an angry wife ? "
During his parliamentary career H. H. made several
attempts to get the Whips to give members credit for
attendance to their duties when paired, but he could
never convince them that a pair is as effective as a
A pair does not produce the impressive effect on
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 23
the Opposition of the member voting. The striking-
out of equal values from opposed quantities may be
convenient in arithmetical or algebraic calculations ;
but the zealous Whip loves to march his entire force
on to the ground ; and is sometimes inexorable.
Sir Richard Webster afterwards Lord Alverstone
used to tell a story of a pair having been effected
by the Whips on a critical occasion. For conscience'
sake after the division Whip No. i said to Whip
No. 2 :
" I think I ought in justice to explain that my
Member broke his leg this afternoon and so could not
" Infamous," said No. 2. " I will forgive you,
but only because my man whom I paired with your
man is dead."
A description of life in the House of Commons
written by H. H. may be included here :
" The House of Commons is at once the easiest
and most difficult assembly in the world to understand
and in which to transact business.
" The ambitious young member, consumed with
burning zeal to distinguish himself, will probably
commit a dozen breaches of order within the first
month. He will walk to his seat while a member two
benches above him is speaking, and interpose his
presence between the orator and the Speaker. This
is a gross breach of order, and the older members will
shout indignantly their disapproval, and call ' order,'
' order.' He will ask his question from one of the
seats on the cross benches, technically ' outside the
bar.' This is another gross breach of order at which
his fellow-members will shout disapproval ; and after
the bewildered man is at last made to understand,
he comes in, and a friendly M.P. resigns a temporary
24 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
place from which he may address the House. He will
keep his hat on when standing at the bar, though
the rule is that he can only wear his hat when seated
in the Chamber. He will read a newspaper in the
House. This is as in the courts of law another
gross breach of order, and brings down on him the
censure of the Speaker. He will in his first speech
insist on addressing the M.P.'s and say ' Gentlemen/
in place of ignoring his fellow-members, and addressing
his remarks to Mr Speaker, or simply saying ' Sir.'
He will mention the previous speaker's name instead
of the Member's constituency. He will greatly offend
his fellow-members in his burning desire to carry his
resolution by lecturing them, and reminding them of
their promises to their constituents at the general
election. He will be called to order for not strictly con-
fining himself to the subject ; for instance, in speaking
on the Navy estimates, he will give a general survey of
its deficiencies when the question is the pay of the men ;
or he will speak on the Post Office vote when the
Telegraph service is under discussion ; or on mis-
management in the War Office when the equipment
of volunteers is being discussed.
' The rules for framing questions are very strict.
They must not involve (i) argument, (2) opinion,
(3) inference, (4) imputation, (5) irony, or (6) hypo-
" Answers to awkward questions are cleverly pre-
pared by the expert officials, and the oldest Parlia-
mentary hand often finds it impossible to get satis-
faction. A Minister has been known to have prepared
for him three different replies on a question of fact.
' The common way of showing resentment to the
Minister who gives an unsatisfactory or sharp answer
to a question is for the aggrieved member to rise at
once and make a formal speech. ' Mr Speaker, in
consequence of the unsatisfactory answer, I beg to
give notice that in the estimates I will call attention
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 25
to the matter and move that the salary of the Secretary
of State for War be reduced by 100.'
" One of the most eloquent yet least trustworthy
of our politicians made a series of charges against
a dull but straightforward Front Bench leader. The
attack was skilfully arranged, under four heads,
and left a very unpleasant feeling in the public mind.
The old politician rose, and roughly but clearly
struggled through and satisfactorily replied to three
of the charges. Then he became confused. He
looked over and over again through his papers, and
turned them upside down. In desperation he turned
to his audience and said : ' Now, in regard to the
fourth charge, I know there is an answer to it, and
a complete answer to it. I ask the House of Commons
to believe me, although I cannot find the answer now/
The very sincerity of the speaker evoked the sympathy
and goodwill of hon. Members, and they cheered
and cheered again, to the utter discomfiture of the
glib but unscrupulous opponent. It is not merely
the words, but the stored-up reputation of an orator
that tell. As Addison said, apologizing for his limited
conversational powers : ' I have but ninepence in
ready money, but I can draw for a thousand pounds.'
" The House of Commons is the fairest tribunal
in the world and the quickest at measuring a man's
capacity. A good story is told of its acumen. The
successor of the great Sir Robert Peel, as member for
Tamworth, came into the House radiant with the
halo and glow of the great man who preceded him.
The House immediately discovered wherein lay his
exceptional abilities, and they put him on the wine
and cigar committee.
" A speech that smells of the oil-lamp is quickly
detected and even in some degree resented. The
immemorial distrust of forensic ability still character-
izes the House. Brougham tells us how a brilliant
new member, got up as a squire, impressed the assembly
26 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
until he dropped the fatal phrase ' our circuit/ when
he was instantly howled down as an impostor.
" The House is impatient of bores, and the process
of calling ' divide, divide, 'vide, 'vide ! ' and ' order,
order ! ' soon extinguishes the most formidable bore.
The old members of the House of Commons hastily
arrange with each other to put down a bore by a
concentric crossfire, one side calling ' divide, divide ! '
and the other ' order, order, question, question ! '
The effect is striking and conclusive."
On one occasion, an interminable bore was annoy-
ing the House and preventing business. H. H. moved
" that the honourable gentleman be no longer heard."
The Speaker rose with great dignity and declined to
put his motion, but he added these significant words :
" I must, however, warn the hon. Member that he is
trifling with the time of the House, and if he persists
it will be necessary to take some decisive action."
The Speaker told H. H. afterwards that only in the
case of an attack on the ambassador of a foreign Power
would such a motion as he proposed be permitted.
On the same occasion he admitted that one can
use very strong language if properly selected in the
The man who comes into the House of Commons
without any fixed views, but who is determined to
distinguish himself by taking part in every debate,
often ruins his reputation in the first few months,
and is never again listened to.
H. H. knew a member who made his maiden speech
within an hour of entering the House.
On the other hand, during the first seventeen
years H. H. was in Parliament, Mr W. W. Beach
the father of the House of Commons never once
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 27
spoke, yet his views and opinions privately expressed
carried considerable weight.
An amusing incident happened to H. H. one day.
He was hurrying through the Lobby when he was
stopped by one of the Junior Whips, Lord Balcarres,
who asked him to oblige him by putting a blocking
motion. H. H. read the paper and exclaimed :
" Well, this beats everything ! you are asking me
to block my own amendment ! '
Lord Balcarres had merely been given the slip of
paper by a member of the Government and asked to
find a private member to put the motion. Un-
fortunately, the first person he met had been H. H.
When Lord Balcarres realized what he had done he
could not help laughing, and it ever afterwards re-
mained an excellent jest between them.
Not the least notable of H. H.'s contemporaries
was Henry Labouchere, the famous editor and pro-
prietor of "Truth." Most stories of Labouchere have
achieved a world- wide reputation, but H. H. never
forgot one night when Labouchere kept every one
enthralled with his reminiscences. Labouchere was
popularly supposed to be a hard man a reputation
that was perhaps one secret of his success. He re-
lated an experience he had had in Russia when playing
cards with some Russian friends. An officer present
lost a considerable sum of money to Labouchere,
and he called on him the next morning in a great
state of emotion to explain that he was absolutely
at the end of his resources and could not possibly
pay. Would Labouchere take pity on a young officer
whose whole career was threatened with ruin and let
him off the debt ? Labouchere replied politely that
he would do nothing of the sort. In vain the
28 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
young officer entreated and implored. Labouchere
was adamant, and his visitor left vowing he was a
A few hours later a weeping woman, accompanied
by two sobbing children, was shown in. The young
wife threw herself on her knees and begged Labouchere
to forgive her husband's debt, as he had not got the
money and threatened to commit suicide she would
be left a widow, her children fatherless. Labouchere
remained unmoved, and explained he could under no
circumstances overlook the debt. Early the next
morning the Russian officer, looking wild and haggard,
strode into Labouchere's office. " I am a dead
man," he said, " and my blood is on your head. I
have not the money to pay you and I cannot face
the disgrace." He pulled a loaded pistol from his
pocket and held it at his head. Still Labouchere
made no move. The Russian then said, " I shall
count ten slowly and if you do not alter your decision,
you will be to all intents a murderer. One two three
four five six." At " six " Labouchere produced
a cigar and lighted it. " Seven eight nine ten."
At the word " ten " the Russian plunged his left hand
into his coat and dashed down a pocketbook with
bank notes for the full amount due. ' Ten thousand
curses on you, cold-blooded Englishman," he shouted,
as he flung himself from the room.
" I knew he was lying from the first," explained
H. H., like many another onlooker, saw much of
the game. The courtesies of the House never lost
their interest for him. When the word is passed
that a new Member has risen for his maiden speech,
the members will come trooping in to give him an
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 29
opportunity of proving his worth. Extraordinary
patience will be shown to an old and respected member
evidently suffering from old age and its attendant
verbosity, or a friendly sympathetic " hear, hear "
will often encourage some unfortunate speaker who
has broken down from nervousness.
There was once a luckless member who got as far
as a dramatic " There is one thing England will never
forget," and here his memory failed him. " There is
one thing, Mr Speaker, England will never forget '
The House waited in vain, but after a few seconds'
deep pondering the Member abruptly sat down.
Later on in the Lobby some sympathizers crowded
" By the way, what was it that England will never
forget ? " they asked.
"I'm d d if I know ! " he answered.
H. H. was often asked which of the members in
his opinion enjoyed the greatest amount of personal
popularity in the House. He thought this honour
undoubtedly belonged to Mr Lewis Harcourt, and as
a proof of this he would cite the occasion when Mr
Harcourt entered the House for the first time after
his marriage. The entire House, Unionists, Liberals,
Irish, and Labour, rose to cheer him as they had not
cheered for many a long day.
For many years Rotherhithe sent to Parliament
Mr Gumming Macdona as their representative. His
correct designation in the House was The Honourable
Learned, Gallant, and Reverend Member for Rother-
hithe, having been at different times in his career
a clergyman, a barrister, and a soldier. He was one
of the old Tory party who fell in the debacle of 1906.
His election posters were headed " I will follow
30 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Balfour," a prognostication that proved unfortunately
only too true. Like many others his defeat was a
great blow to him, and, although he fell in good
company, he did not long survive a bitter disappoint-
ment coming late in life. With his disappearance
the House lost a genial personality, popular on both
sides. Some amusing verses were written by Mr
Harrison Hill which appeared under the title :
" HOW WE PASSED THE ARMY ESTIMATES "
" In the House of Commons dining-room four men were dining well
(With intervals for exercise at each Division bell),
And Henniker Heaton was the host, a genial host was he,
And Harrison Hill the humorist was Heaton 's vis-a-vis.
That's two H. H.'s opposite (I speak in fides bona)
And Frankfort Moore the novelist sat opposite Macdona,
The Honourable, Reverend, Learned, Gallant, man of larks,
Who sits so blithe for Rotherhithe, when he ought to sit for Barks.
Two M's, two H's opposite, and two of them M.P.
And two of them were visitors, and two were vis-a-vis.
We talked Imperial Postage, and G.G. Clubs, 1 and dogs,
Of Marriage Acts, and derelicts that float about in fogs.
We talked of many subjects, and in every kind of tone,
But we left the Army Estimates religiously alone,
Except for the Division bell, when each man quenched his drouth,
And toddled off and voted with an entree in his mouth.
But Heaton told Macdona he thought it most unfair
That though there was a pair of them they couldn't even pair.
And every time the waiter would fresh delicacies bring
That wretched old Division bell would give another ring.
Then we went into the smoke-room for a coffee and cigar
Which the waiter went and brought us from the House of Commons bar,
Till Heaton and Macdona, when the stars began to peep,
Said they'd have a dose of Estimates, which meant a dose of sleep.
Then a novelist and humorist stole through the Commons door,
For they heard a Member speaking and two other Members snore ;
But Heaton and Macdona were wide awake you'll guess,
When the House adjourned at midnight for the Whitsuntide recess."
1 Gay Golfers' Club, of which Mr Macdona was President.
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 31
In all H. H.'s measures for promoting Imperial
Penny Postage, he received warm support from
Lord Charles Beresford, who foresaw the imperative
necessity of drawing the Colonies closer to the Mother
Country, at a time when hardly anyone could be
found to take the matter seriously. In Lord Charles
Beresford's memoirs he writes :
" At Christmas, 1898, Mr Henniker Heaton's
indomitable perseverance had resulted in the estab-
lishment of Penny Postage in every part of the British
Empire except Australia and New Zealand. Lord
Randolph Churchill and myself were hearty supporters
of Henniker Heaton, who gave to each of us a golden
penny in commemoration of the event."
An interesting letter from Lord Charles Beresford,
written on board H.M.S. " Bulwark," at Lagos Bay, in
1906, may here be included :
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
Thank you for your most interesting letter of
the 7th. You richly deserve all the grateful appre-
ciation which your countrymen show you on every
possible occasion. Well done, indeed well done. You
are one of the forlorn hopes of the Conservative Party,
and all your friends will be delighted that you have
been again returned to Parliament, not only for your
own sake, but for the sake of the country, and those
splendid and brilliant reforms you have unvaryingly
pushed for and won for the Line of Communication
I told Balfour, before I left, that I thought the
Liberal Party would come in far greater numbers
than was anticipated, and that they would be in far
longer than was anticipated, but I never imagined
the slump would be so terrific.
32 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
There are many reasons and causes for the tre-
mendous Liberal majority.
1. The iniquitous and dishonourable Jameson
2. The mismanaged South African War.
3. The large consensus of opinion that the War was
in the interests of the Jews, and also the chaotic state
of the Army.
4. The dread of the working classes of anything
in the way of Protection.
5. Mr Chamberlain's Policy of having joined to-
gether, on one platform, Skilled and Unskilled Labour
for the first time since their enfranchisement.
6. The inability of a large number of gentlemen
to work on the old lines of Patriotism, instead of for
7. The last Government having held on to Office
too long. It was quite apparent that the country
wished for a change, and there were other minor
matters which helped to make the great smash.
For my own part, I do not think that the Gentlemen
will ever again be in the predominant position of
power in the Government of our great Empire. Old
ideas, issues, and Party lines will disappear. The
leisured classes will no longer supply men to work
unselfishly from solely patriotic motives. Politics
will become a Profession, and Politicians will be paid.
The demarcation will be between the lines of Capital
and Labour as time goes on. Working men will be
returned in larger numbers at each election. This is
my forecast. Personally, I have no great fear for the
I have absolute belief in the common sense,
patriotism, and right feeling of the people ; and if
we read history, we shall see that the people were
always right in the end.
Bannerman is the most powerful Minister we have
had, and I am confident that, with the great majority
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 33
the Liberals have had, his Government will be
From a Party and Strategical point of view, I
believe it madness to have adopted the Fiscal Reform
programme, after the unquestionable reverse it had
in the hands of the people at the last Election. I
never believed myself in Protection, and think Mr
Chamberlain in his saner moments was more correct
in his diagnosis than he is now, when he remarked
that " Protection, if ever brought in, would make
the rich richer, and the poor poorer."
Yours very sincerely,
Once and once only during his parliamentary
career H. H. crossed swords with the War Office,
and succeeded in hacking his way through the barri-
cades of red-tape until he reached head-quarters,
where the enemy capitulated. The facts were these.
A lady wrote to H. H. to tell him that her son at Harrow
had been ploughed for the Army, and asking him to
use his influence on his behalf. The boy in question
was captain of the cricket eleven at Harrow and
devoted to all sport, a born leader and one of the
most popular boys in the school. The sole fact that
R. was captain of the Harrow eleven was sufficient
for H. H. as undoubtedly it would have been for
the Duke of Wellington !
The correspondence between H. H. and the War
Office, were it permissible to publish it, would make
good reading. There could only be one end to such
a combat and R. is now a major in the Hussars.
In the course of championing the claims of his young
friend, H. H. had an interview with a very important
" Look here, Henniker Heaton," said General
34 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Sir W , " examinations are all nonsense. When
I joined the Army forty years ago the test they set us
was to say the Lord's Prayer and to write our own
name and by the Lord Harry I was plucked the first
time ! "
H. H. was the first to introduce tea on the Terrace,
which became almost at once a popular feature of
London social life. The photographs taken by the
late Sir Benjamin Stone made a permanent record
of some of the most interesting of these gatherings.
On the Terrace of the House H. H. had the pleasure
of introducing his great friend, the late Sir Charles
Gavan Duffy, to Sir Edward Carson, where they had
a deeply interesting discussion on the affairs of Ireland.
Sir Edward Carson ended the interview by saying if
all Irishmen were like Sir Charles he would gladly
consent to Home Rule for Ireland.
" And ut's Carrson that has the soft spache wid
him," commented an Irish Member hearing the story.
The following letter was written by Sir Charles,
from Nice :
MY DEAR HEATON,
I am reading with considerable enjoyment the
volume of political gossip you sent me. I entered
parliament at the same date as Sir William Eraser
and am familiar with the men and events he deals
with. The book would be a great deal better if it
were written in strictly chronological order, and about
half the size, excluding all anecdotes which are not
new, or are not pointed.
I never waited the meeting of parliament with
so much anxiety. The G.O.M. has a very difficult
task, but his safety lies in courage. If he prepares a
thoroughly satisfactory measure he will content
Ireland, even if it should be lost for a time in the Lords,
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 35
but if it should be a paltry scheme his career will end
in a London fog. . . .
Apropos of fogs, I hope Mrs Heaton is facing the
winter courageously. We have had very satisfactory
weather since you have been here with the interval
of a day or two. In France we are in some danger
of a general overturn. The leading men of the republic
who have held the government for twenty years are
all suspected of complicity with corruption and
of plundering the savings of the industrious classes
invested in the Panama Canal.
If you send me a copy of Gladstone's bill as early
as you can, it will be very welcome.
I notice that Ritchie met the fate you predicted,
but it is doubtful policy in Lord Salisbury to allow
his son to spoil the career of one of his colleagues.
My daughters join in kindest remembrances to
Very faithfully yours,
C. GAVAN DUFFY.
During the twenty-six years H. H. sat in Parlia-
ment he saw many changes, and very few of the
original members of his first Parliament were left
by the time he retired.
Some interesting letters from old Parliamentary
colleagues may here be included. Lord Curzon wrote,
from Viceregal Lodge, Simla, on May gth, 1901 :
DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
I was much gratified at receiving your letter,
and at learning that I am not quite forgotten at home.
I follow these struggles of Sassoon and yourself with
much interest. In these contests the ultimate result
is quite certain. But it often takes a long time. I
am glad to notice that in the midst of Parliamentary
labours you find time to lend an ear to the whispers
of society talk, and to repeat them for my edification
36 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
across the seas. Here we are so respectable that we
have to depend upon England for our gossip.
Yours very truly,
In 1906, Mr James Bryce, afterwards Lord Bryce,
on being appointed British Ambassador to the United
States, wrote :
DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
Thank you heartily for the kind words you
have sent me, nothing could have given me more
pleasure than your assurance that I have none but
well wishers on your side of the House in the responsible
task I am undertaking. It is a great wrench to leave
the House of Commons after 27 years, but the sense
of parting is softened and sweetened by the recollection
of all the kindness one has met with there.
If I can be an instrument in doing anything to
help you in the great enterprise of cheapening Trans-
atlantic post, it will be done gladly.
Very truly yours,
Sir William Har court sent the following letter,
from Malwood, Lyndhurst, on July 6th, 1899 :
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
Your kind and generous letter has given me
sincere pleasure. It has always been my first ambition,
in whatever situation I found myself, to stand well
with the whole House of Commons and to do what
seemed to me best for the interests of that great
Assembly, which is the true representation of a great
people. If I have been able to earn the good will
of my opponents as well as my friends I shall have
succeeded beyond my hopes, and such a result is a
AS MEMBER IN THE HOUSE 37
high testimony to the noble tone of public life which
I rejoice to know governs all our Party conflicts.
I have seen with great pleasure the signal success
of your enlightened and beneficent efforts in Postal
Reform, in which you have made a name which will
not be forgotten. If I have contributed to support
you in any slight degree I shall be proud to pursue
your triumph and partake the gale.
Yours very truly,
W. V. HARCOURT.
The time came at last when H. H. also left the
House of Commons, where he had spent so many
happy years. Of the twenty-six years in which he
represented Canterbury, during twenty-one he was
unopposed. He fought altogether three elections,
and retired in 1910, when a farewell banquet was
given in his honour.
The words of the historian Justin M'Carthy may
fitly bring to an end this chapter in the life of H. H. :
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
I have heard, of course, as everybody has,
the announcement that with the close of this Parliament
you have made up your mind to retire from your
public or at all events from your Parliamentary life.
The news came with quite a shock of surprise to me,
for I had never regarded you as one whose career
of active work must be drawing to its close. Few
men living anywhere in the world can have rendered
more beneficent, or indeed so many beneficent public
services as you have rendered not merely to your
own people but to all the peoples within the range and
reach, or striving to come within the range and reach
of civilization. I cannot think but that you will find
a certain sense of vacuity when you have withdrawn
from that House of Commons in which you found so
38 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
congenial, so characteristic, and so nobly active a
career, and where you had friendship, sympathy,
gratitude and encouragement from all your fellow-
members, of whom I had the honour and the pleasure
of being one during many years. Still I must say,
of course, that, if you feel you are taking the right
decision, you are the man whose decision ought to
settle the question in the minds of all who know you
as I do. My heart is filled with gratitude to you for
most valuable services rendered to me at a time when
broken health and other troubles made the friendship
and the support of men like you a very shelter against
the storm. Forgive me, therefore, if I do not write
more cheerfully on this coming event in your life of
public and private benefaction.
Pray forgive me for addressing you through the
mechanism of the typewriting machine. The truth
is that for several years past my sight has been so
weak that I have been unable to use the pen for any-
thing much beyond a mere signature.
Ever your true friend,
AS MEMBER FOR CANTERBURY
2. IN THE CONSTITUENCY
O call Canterbury a Conservative stronghold
is to do it no more than justice. Whether
or not, after every General Election, Kent
can claim the title of " Solid Kent," it
will invariably be found that Canterbury has done
its part in returning a Tory representative to West-
minster. The preponderance of Toryism in the
borough was best illustrated in 1910 when, with an
equally split Conservative vote, the Liberal candidate
was in a minority of 500.
H. H. was justly proud of his long connection with
Canterbury. The presentation of the Freedom of
the City in 1899 was an honour he deeply appreciated.
The beautiful Casket containing the document was
made from Cathedral Oak, ornamented with emblems
of the various countries which had joined in Imperial
Penny Postage. The presentation was made by the
Mayor, Sir George Collard, and the Archbishop of
Canterbury (Archbishop Temple) gave the congratu-
On September lyth, 1904, Mr Joseph Chamberlain
wrote to H. H. as follows :
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
I have heard with great pleasure that you have
again been requested by the Unionist Committee to
40 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
represent Canterbury in the next Parliament, and I
am delighted that you should find yourself able
once more to bear the burden and to render further
service to the country and the Unionist cause.
You can look back with satisfaction to your past
efforts. It has been given to few men to promote
reforms independently and to see them adopted in
their own lifetime with universal approval. I take
special pleasure in the certainty of your return, as I
know how warmly you appreciate the importance of
drawing the different parts of the Empire more closely
together. You have a wide knowledge of colonial
conditions, and your support to the policy I have
endeavoared to recommend to my countrymen will
be of great value.
With all good wishes,
Yours very truly,
In the early days the Conservative party in Canter-
bury was led by Captain Thomas Lambert, a true
Tory of the old school. His charming hospitality and
the wonderful roses from his gardens made a fragrant
memory not soon forgotton. His death was mourned
by all the county.
Dean Wace, writing to H. H., said, "You must
have felt deeply the death of our venerable friend
Captain Lambert. He was a true English gentleman."
Other loyal friends of those old days were Edward
Plummer, Sir George Collard, Walter Furley, and
lastly Dr Frank Wacher, of whom it might truly be
" Of soul sincere
In action faithful, and in honour clear,
Who broke no promise, served no private end."
AS MEMBER IN THE CONSTITUENCY 41
H. H. delighted in all things Kentish. " My
Cathedral," " My Archbishop," were frequently on
his lips, and he thoroughly enjoyed the run down to
Canterbury through Kentish hop-gardens and Kentish
orchards ; and not least he loved the kindly faces of
the Kentish folk with their slow, old-fashioned speech.
In springtime the woods around Canterbury are
a very heaven of green and gold. On Primrose Day
a great hamper of yellow primroses was always sent
to " Our Member " by two old ladies, Primrose
Dames, and the whole house in Eaton Square would
be a mass of yellow blooms from Canterbury.
The famous Canterbury Cricket Week was a
gathering H. H. never failed to attend. The balls,
the theatricals, the luncheons and tea-parties upon
the cricket field changed the quiet Cathedral city
into the gayest of gay scenes.
H. H., himself a lover of cricket, could never resist
the wistful faces of the little urchins who hung around
the gate, trying to catch glimpses of their flannelled
heroes. Many a time he would send the whole ragged
little band rejoicing through the turnpike.
One wonders if any of these were among the body-
guard that dogged H. H.'s every footstep at election
time, shouting in husky little voices the popular
election song which went to the tune of ' ' Tramp,
tramp, tramp, the boys are marching."
" Vote, vote, vote, for Mister 'Eaton,
Niver mind a word er wot they si,
For 'Eaton is the man
And 'e does the best 'e can, etc. etc."
A compliment distinctly qualified, one might consider.
H. H. took a great interest in King's School,
Canterbury, and was present whenever possible to
42 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
give away the prizes. It was in mid-ocean in 1907
that he discovered on board ship an Old Boy in Mr
Kennerly Rumford, who, with his wife, Clara Butt,
was on his way to tour Australia, and together they
dispatched a marconigram to King's School on the
occasion of some school festivity.
Like all pocket boroughs, Canterbury was not
entirely free from the charges of bribery and cor-
ruption. There are alive to this day old men who can
recall the happy times when the tables in the Committee
Rooms were spread with golden sovereigns, while
the sitting Member gazed tactfully out of the window
with a pleasant word over his shoulder, " Help your-
selves, Gentlemen, help yourselves." The rival
candidate wore an overcoat with immense pockets,
and it was an understood thing that the free and inde-
pendent electors who walked on either side of him
were at liberty to thrust their hands into the gaping
pockets in search of the gold with which they were
Such halcyon days cannot, however, last for ever,
and there came an evil hour when the then Member
was unseated on petition. As a result of the inquiries,
bribery was found to be so widespread that for a
period of seven years the ecclesiastical capital of the
Empire was disfranchised.
This was the situation at Canterbury when, the
seven years being at an end, H. H. was elected as
Conservative Member. Needless to say, his party
was anxious to avoid any suspicion of bribery, and
during the weeks preceding the election Lady H. H.
was asked not to allow her servants to buy even half
a yard of ribbon in the town.
If, in those days, Canterbury was out of favour
AS MEMBER IN THE CONSTITUENCY 43
in the political world, it was unfortunately still more
out of favour in Royal circles. Local tradition as-
cribed this feeling to an incident that occurred when
Queen Victoria visited Canterbury with the late
King Edward as a baby. One enthusiastic woman
stepped forward and planted a kiss on the royal brow
of the slumbering infant with a resounding " Bless his
little heart." Her Majesty was deeply offended and for
many years never again set foot in the city. Great
therefore were the rejoicings when in 1897 the Prince
and Princess of Wales visited Canterbury and the
loyal citizens once again basked in the smiles of
H. H. frequently took his friends down to Canter-
bury, knowing how much pleasure and interest they
would find in the beautiful old city. Sir Joseph Ward,
the late Premier of New Zealand, was among the
friends who visited the town, accompanied by the
Member. The occasion was the presentation of a
flag from the children of Canterbury, New Zealand,
to the children of Canterbury, Kent. It was a happy
idea, resulting in an exchange of letters between the
two places so widely separated, forging one more link
between the mother country and her Colonies.
Another welcome visitor was Sir George Reid,
the High Commissioner for Australia. H. H.'s friend-
ship with Sir George dated back to the days of early
manhood, and knew no diminution throughout the
long strenuous years they were both destined to enjoy.
On arrival at Canterbury, there was some competition
among the various cab-drivers for the privilege of
conveying the Member and his distinguished guest
to the hotel. This drew forth a reminiscence from
Sir George of a similar experience in Australia, when
44 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
he seemed in danger of being torn in pieces by cab-
drivers all eager for his patronage. Sir George solved
the difficulty by announcing that he had always been
in favour of large families, and he would take the cab-
driver who had the most children. Spirited " bidding "
then began, but was quickly ended by a gruff,
' You come along er me, sir, I've got seventeen
children." As Sir George was driven off in triumph,
even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear to
Sir George's repartees when on the election platform
are quoted all over the world. His slow gentle manner
of dealing with hecklers gives an added piquancy
to the situation. One evening when he had been
enduring with great good humour continuous interrup-
tions, a man rose from the back and shouted :
' You are double-faced."
Sir George Reid considered the man reflectively :
" It is easy to see that gentleman has not two faces,
or he would not have come with the one he has to-
One May morning H. H. persuaded his friend Mr
John Wanamaker, the late Postmaster-General of
America, to leave London's noise and traffic, and
spend a few hours in seeing Canterbury and the Kentish
orchards in full bloom.
In the train on the way down, Mr Wanamaker
learnt from the papers that it was H. H.'s birthday,
May 1 8th, and he at once presented him with his
watch as a memento. ' When you lose that I will
give you another," he said. But the promise had
never to be redeemed, for the watch bore a charmed
life. It was dropped, and lost and trodden on, and
stolen, by a steward on board ship, who subsequently
AS MEMBER IN THE CONSTITUENCY 45
jumped over board, and endured every vicissitude of
fortune that can befall a watch, and still it kept its
excellent undeviating accuracy and became as much
a part of H. H.'s apparel as his coat itself ; nor would
he have changed it for any other watch in the world.
Mr Wanamaker and H. H. spent a delightful day
at Canterbury, meeting old friends on one side, and
making new ones on the other. Just near the
Cathedral H. H. stopped to introduce to Mr Wanamaker
a young man who was striding along. Mr Wanamaker,
as is well known, has a great gift of engaging every
one he meets in interesting talk the first moment of
acquaintance. The young man found himself de-
scribing Canterbury and its industries to a most
sympathetic listener. The talk turned on the large
breweries in the city. Mr Wanamaker, who is a great
temperance advocate, asked his companion :
" Tell me, do you drink ? '
" No, I am a teetotaller," replied the young man.
" Shake," said Mr Wanamaker, suiting the action
to the words.
" And does your father drink ? '
" No, he is also a teetotaller."
Again the hand of fellowship was extended.
" And what is your father's profession ? "
" Archbishop of Canterbury," replied young Mr
The hearty infectious laugh that rang out from
Mr Wanamaker made the passers-by turn round.
Linking his arm through H. H.'s, Mr Wanamaker
' Why, this is enough to get you unseated why
didn't you tell me your friend was the son of your
Archbishop ? '
46 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Mr Wanamaker's keen sense of humour, combined
as it is with the truest love for humanity, has made
him friends from one end of the hemisphere to the
other. At luncheon subsequently with the Archbishop
a seal was set upon a day full of happy associations.
There is an interesting letter from Archbishop
Benson, dated i5th February 1892, in reply to a note
from H. H. asking his opinion as to the propriety of
speaking in Newcastle on a Sunday in connection
with postal matters :
MY DEAR MR HEATON,
Thank you much for your kind confidence.
I think it would create much adverse feeling if
you lectured on Sunday on a subject so purely secular,
although so serviceable. Many of those who would
otherwise be your best and most amenable auditors
would be scandalized. You could on a weekday
evening command not only as large, but larger masses
of thoughtful men, because you would add to them
a highly respectable and thinking set who would
certainly not come on Sunday. They would in fact
be set against the plan itself, as hasty generalizations
are wont to be made in such matters. Of other classes
a very large number would be scandalized no doubt
Yours very faithfully,
" The Penny Post is one of the ordinances of man
that we have to submit to for the Lord's sake,"
Archbishop Benson is reported to have said at another
If H. H. was free for many years from the anxiety
of fighting elections, he certainly did his part nobly
AS MEMBER IN THE CONSTITUENCY 47
in opening bazaars, laying foundation-stones, attending
flower-shows, and all the multitudinous duties that fall
to the lot of a Member. His love for the old city was
reciprocated in many loyal hearts. He had friends
in every walk of life, and many were the people who
could speak of kindnesses shown them during the
twenty-six years in which he was their representative.
H. H. was never too busy to answer their letters
in person, to secure an opening for some son or
daughter ; to assist the emigration of a family ; or
do the thousand and one little acts of kindness that
do so much to ease the burden of life. His cheery
presence and hearty greeting were known and loved
throughout the city.
Among the pleasantest of H. H.'s associations with
Kent must be recorded his Presidency of the Men of
Kent and Kentish Men. The Association was formed
in 1898, with Lord Harris as first President, and on
his resignation in 1904 he was succeeded by H. H.
Never had a President a more loyal body of supporters,
and during his years of office the membership grew
from hundreds to as many thousands. Branches
were formed in all parts of the Empire, forming yet
another link between the old country and her de-
When the battle cruiser H.M.S. " Kent " was com-
missioned, the Men of Kent and Kentish Men signalized
their interest by presenting a magnificent shield to
the ship. In response to an appeal from Captain
D. A. Gamble, the Maids of Kent embroidered a silken
ensign. ' They may depend upon us," said Captain
Gamble, " to keep it flying and never haul it down
in dishonour." Words literally fulfilled when, on
December 8th, 1914, Captain J. D. Allen, flying the
48 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
ensign, went into action, chased, engaged, and,
single-handed, sank the German cruiser " Niirnberg "
The ensign, which flew all the time, was torn to ribbons.
The complimentary dinner given by the Association
to the Kent Eleven in 1906 was a very brilliant function.
H. H., apologizing for the unavoidable absence of the
Right Honourable Alfred Lyttelton, " who was trying
to bowl out or stump out or catch out our present
Government," read the following letter :
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
I am extremely sorry to say that in the existing
state of things I cannot leave the House for the banquet
to which you were so good as to invite me. Will
you express my deep regret at my inability to attend.
I can assure you that no one viewed the news of the
Kent victory with more satisfaction than myself.
For that victory was achieved by the qualities
which I think make cricket worth playing, dash,
enterprise, adventure, as well as resolution and tenacity.
Long may such qualities flourish in Kent and elsewhere.
Yours very truly,
An original gift was made to H. H. when the Society
presented him with a large solid silver envelope,
bearing the Canadian penny stamp.
On H. H.'s retirement from Parliament, the Men of
Kent and Kentish Men gathered a brilliant company
together to bid him farewell at a banquet at the
The chair was taken by the High Commissioner
for New Zealand, Sir William Hall- Jones ; and among
those present were the High Commissioner for Australia,
Sir George Reid ; the High Commissioner for Canada,
Lord Strathcona ; the High Commissioner for South
AS MEMBER IN THE CONSTITUENCY 49
Africa, Mr John Burns ; General Sir John French,
Mr Marconi, Lord Blyth, Sir Edward Clarke, Sir John
Cockburn, and the Postmaster-General, Mr Herbert
Lord Strathcona in the course of his speech said
that when he first went to Canada, seventy years before,
letters from England to Canada cost from 45. to 8s.
The Right Hon. Herbert Samuel, the Postmaster-
General, in proposing the toast of " The British Empire
and Imperial Communications," said that " that was
an occasion of pleasure and of deep regret, since
it signalized the retirement from active public life
of their friend Mr Henniker Heaton. Postmasters-
General came and went with sometimes bewildering
rapidity, but they were accustomed to think that Mr
Henniker Heaton went on for ever, and for his own
part, he would believe Mr Heaton whether in Parlia-
ment or out of it had given up active work as a postal
reformer when he saw it and not before. He thought
he could claim that for the Postmaster-General of
the day to attend a banquet at which Mr Henniker
Heaton was the chief guest, showed something in the
nature of a forgiving spirit. They all knew that his
favoured form of sport was the baiting of Postmasters-
General. His was the task of sticking the bandillero
into the quivering shoulders of the infuriated animal.
(Laughter.) He it was who waved in front of its
eyes the red cloak of penny-a-word cablegrams, and,
when the infuriated beast charged, with graceful and
sylph-like agility, slipped over the barrier.
" It was a great public service which Mr Henniker
Heaton had performed in continually keeping on the
alert the individual, whoever he might be, who was
at the head of the great Department of State over
50 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
which he had the honour to preside. Mr Henniker
Heaton had, however, rendered an even greater service
in instilling into the public mind a divine discontent
with things as they were, and ultimately his efforts
had had some effect on the Treasury, a Second Chamber
through which postal measures had to pass, a formidable
and lethal Chamber.
" The whole of the country irrespective of party
was grateful to Mr Henniker Heaton for the long life
which he had devoted to the cause of postal reform."
Looking round the hall, H. H. felt himself not at a
public dinner but among trusted friends.
Each birthday, each postal victory, each hard-
fought election brought a message or cablegram from
the Men of Kent and Kentish Men to their President.
The names most closely associated with H. H. were
H. J. Hearn, James Bills, G. B. Bayley, J. T. Hearn,
A. O. Callard, R. Pilcher, Newton Jacks, T. S. Whit-
taker, W. H. Le May, E. Bennett, H. T. Wilkens, A. H.
Shine, P. H. Holt, G, Clinch, R. Larking, E. M. Arnold,
and Henry Thompson.
AS A CHESS-PLAYER
"Was it right, I say, and consistent with thy duties to sport away thy
evenings amidst the vanities of Chess ? "
Letter from Cardinal Damianus to a Bishop, A.D. 1061.
CHESS is the only game permitted in the
House of Commons. Somewhere about
1885 H. H. discovered a solitary and ancient
chess board, in the smoking-room of the
House, which tradition said had belonged to a former
member for Deptford. H. H., who, like many others,
found time hang heavy upon his hands, immediately
seized upon the board and in a very short time a crowd
of enthusiasts were gathered round.
The crush of spectators became so great that the
players proposed to start a five shilling subscription,
and a Chess Committee was formed. Among the
earlier players were Sir Charles Russell, Lord
Randolph Churchill, Parnell, Sir George Newnes,
Charles Bradlaugh, and others.
Speaking many years later H.H. said :
" Lord Randolph Churchill was a very impatient
player ; he used to suffer so much in thinking out his
moves. Bradlaugh was by far the most astute player,
but Sir George Newnes, who was the greatest player
in the House in those days, could beat him. Parnell
was not a particularly strong player. He used to
look on a good deal. But the man who would make
the merriest comments, who would send ripples of
laughter round the room, particularly when Parnell
52 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
was playing, was the O'Gorman Mahon, the most
notable character that ever figured in the House, and
the last of the old Irish warriors and duellists."
For several years H. H. was chairman of the Chess
Committee and he was the moving spirit in organizing
The most interesting tournaments were those
played in 1897 between the House of Commons
and the United States Houses of Parliament at
The Speaker of the House of Commons wrote as
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
Thanks for your note about the Chess-Match.
I hope the best side will win, and I hope, too, that the
best men will be found on this side of the Atlantic.
W. C. GULLY.
The match was played by cable, a telegraph line
running into each House.
Sir Horace Plunkett, Mr Atherley Jones, Mr
M'Kenna, Sir Charles Shaw, and Mr Parnell's brother
were amongst those who played for the House
of Commons. The late Mr Arthur Walter of the
"Times" offered a magnificent trophy of Persian
Chessmen, and paid the whole of the expenses.
The match was fiercely fought and ended in a
draw : two and a half games to each side. At one
time the defeat of America seemed imminent and the
chairman of the American side cabled ' ' We don't
think this fair : we will play you poker."
Throughout the game there was a pleasant flow
AS A CHESS-PLAYER 53
of intercourse. One of the English team was un-
avoidably detained, and a message was sent to his
opponent asking for a few minutes' grace. ' Why,
certainly, don't hustle him," came back over the wires
and raised a smile.
An inter-parliamentary match between England
and Australia was arranged in 1911. The following
letters are from the then First Lord of the Admiralty :
DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
I feel proud that you should have thought of
me as a possible Captain for the British team in an
inter-parliamentary chess match with Australia. I
am sorry to say, however, that chess has been so far
from my mind for the last six years, that I should be
quite useless in the post. I have not played once
myself since I have been in Office, and I know nothing
of the players in the House of Commons. These are
reasons, too strong to be overcome, against my accept-
ing your very kind proposal.
DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
You have always justly been considered the
most persuasive of men, and your achievements in
Post Office reforms are evidence of the truth of this
opinion. In the present case, however, I feel strongly
that your blandishments ought not to prevail and
I am glad to be able to tell you that your son
Arthur is being appointed First Lieutenant of the
" Torch " on the Australian Station, an appointment
which I understand to be acceptable both to him and
54 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Mr Watson Rutherford, M.P., has very kindly sent
the following reminiscence :
" In the course of the few years which followed my
entering the House of Commons in January, 1903,
several matches were played against the joint teams
of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, each of
which was organized and largely carried out by H. H.
" He was passionately fond of the game, and though
he did not attain first place amongst its skilled devotees
he was remarkable for the rapidity of his games, and
the amount of good humoured enjoyment which he
was able to get out of them, whether he won or lost.
" H. H. also was principally responsible for the
arrangements made in connection with two or three
annual tournaments amongst the members of the
House of Commons itself, chiefly in connection with
the challenge cup which was given by Mr Bonar
Law, which cup afterwards was won by that gentleman
himself, and subsequently presented by him as a sort
of trophy between the Universities of Oxford and
Cambridge and the House of Commons, and is at
present held by the Universities in consequence of
their having won the last match.
" Although H. H. was not in the first rank of chess
players from the point of view of chess skill, yet
his presence and services were of the greatest possible
utility to the chess players in the House in consequence
of his being a universal friend and favourite. His
high powers of organization and the amount of per-
suasiveness he brought to bear upon any project he
had in hand were sufficient to carry it to a successful
issue under almost all circumstances.
" Although the chess playing group in the House
of Commons has suffered very severe diminution as
regards both number and talent, as will readily be
seen from the list of names above mentioned, I believe
that on the whole the playing standard to-day is
AS A CHESS-PLAYER 55
almost as high as ever it was, but we are sorely lacking
in that very element of organization of which we were
deprived when H. H. quitted the House."
The rapidity of H. H.'s game was a source of
constant amusement, and the introduction of " Henni-
ker Heat on Lightning-games " became popular.
The method was to move so rapidly as to prevent
the players having time to think out problems. To
add to the excitement the Division Bell often rang in
the midst of a contest and the best of players became
so utterly disorganized that the results were fre-
" It isn't chess at all it's skittles," a disgusted
victim once exclaimed, and the name found favour
among its devotees.
Apart from chess in the House, H. H. was very
keenly interested in the Imperial Chess Club which
was started by Mrs Arthur Rawson. The first two
Vice- Presidents were Lord Claud Hamilton and H. H.,
and the Club was opened by the latter in 1911. As
its name suggests, the Club provides a centre where
visitors from oversea-dominions may meet in the
friendly atmosphere of the great chess republic.
In going through H. H.'s papers a surprising number
of telegrams were found written in the vernacular.
His election to Canterbury was hailed by his chess-
playing friends in the House " Noble move."
When, in 1908, H. H. started his crusade for penny-
a-word telegrams throughout the Empire Sir John
Randies wrote :
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
In chess an infinite number of moves and
combinations are possible. The bold far-seeing player
56 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
finds new combinations and is rewarded when he cries
check followed by mate.
You have done much and played a great pawn
game in development of the International penny post,
when you fairly cried " Check." Bring out all your
pieces, you will need them, and may you see the time
when telegrams a penny a word the wide world over
will enable you in more senses than one to cry " Mate.''
AS A TRAVELLER
i. BY LAND
WHEN the Duke of Wellington was asked
his opinion of the English climate he is
reported to have said : " For six months
in the year the English climate is the best
in the world, and for the other six I'm damned if I
know a better."
This was a very favourite quotation of H. H.'s,
and he could speak with some authority, having tried
the climate of most countries in the world. Although
he thought so highly of the health-giving properties
of the English air, the fact remains that he never
willingly spent a winter in England if he could possibly
be anywhere else. His friends accused him of " Spend-
ing his week-ends in Japan " a not unfair comment
on his meteor-like journeys across the world.
H. H. and Lady Heaton, who shared a devoted love
of the sea, spent a good deal of time on the Sussex coast.
The gorse country round Bexhill and the picturesque
old Sussex villages added greatly to the affection they
had for the neighbourhood. The crystal-clear air and
the invigorating breezes would send H. H. back to
work with renewed life.
Rest, as other people understand the word, was
unknown to him. The only relaxation he found was
in travelling about at full speed, meeting fresh people
58 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
and seeing fresh countries. London was of course
his head-quarters, and he had towards London very
much the same feeling as Dr Johnson : ' The
happiness of London is not to be conceived but by
those who have been in it. London is nothing to
some people, but to a man whose pleasure is intellectual
London is the place."
H. H. also shared Dr Johnson's antipathy to
Scotland. This was perhaps the more extraordinary,
in that it was the only country in the world that
anyone ever heard him mention without some warm
words of appreciation. His prejudice was founded
on his one and only visit to Scotland. He arrived
at Edinburgh early one Sunday morning to find the
rain descending in torrents and a hurricane blowing.
There were no cabs at the station and there appeared
to be no means of reaching his hotel. The only other
passenger was Lord Aberdeen, and together they waited
for some chance conveyance. At length, a rattle of
wheels was heard and a milk-cart came into sight.
The obliging milkman allowed them to stand up in his
cart, and drove them off in triumph along Princes
Street ! It was in vain that the younger members
of H. H.'s family lauded the glories of the Highlands :
to him Scotland always remained a rain-sodden morass
where the inhabitants invariably drove about in
Ireland, on the other hand, was the country of his
heart. Irish songs, Irish poetry, soft Irish voices,
all made an irresistible appeal to him. For many
years he and Lady Heaton spent every Whitsuntide
in Ireland, and counted it among their happiest
memories. There was something akin to his own
nature in the spontaneous warmth he met on all
AS A TRAVELLER BY LAND 59
sides, and the friendly welcome that falls so easily
from Irish lips.
One " foine saft marning " in Kerry he and Lady
Henniker Heat on went to look over a church, and, as
they passed through the gate, a low voice was heard
ejaculating in tones of deep piety : " Hivin be proised,
all the foine gintilmin and the illigint ladies are not
dead yit." It long remained a point of dispute as to
which of them gave the old man half a crown, but they
both agreed that such speeches do much to sweeten
life in this unappreciative world.
Every August for over twenty years H. H. made
a pilgrimage to Carlsbad. He attributed his ex-
traordinary good health to the three weeks he spent
there every year, drinking the waters and taking the
In December, 1881, H. H. and Lady Heat on were
present at a Canonization at Rome, which he describes
in a letter to a friend :
' The ceremony of Canonization was fixed for
eight a.m., but we were advised to be at the Vatican
not later than half-past seven o'clock. It was hardly
light at six o'clock when we breakfasted in our rooms,
and by seven o'clock carriages commenced to roll into
the courtyard of the Hotel de Rome.
" Punctually at half-past seven we arrived at the
Bronze Gate of the Scala Regia, or Royal Staircase
of the Vatican, and were confronted by an array of
Swiss Guards. These soldiers are specially attached
to the Pope. Their picturesque costumes were de-
signed by Michael Angelo. Their duties are to guard
the Vatican, and on this special morning they were
told off to see that no person entered the precincts
but such as held personal orders of admission to witness
the great ceremony of Canonization.
60 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
" Shortly after we had taken our places, the Am-
bassadors from France, Austria, Belgium, Russia,
Holland, Bavaria, Spain, and other countries, filed in,
and entered the Tribuna. They looked very striking
and attractive in their court dresses, their breasts
being covered with decorations of various orders.
The Ambassadors' wives, wearing veils and sparkling
with jewels, accompanied their lords. German,
Austrian, Spanish, and other nobles were ushered in
by some high dignitaries connected with the Vatican.
Just before ten o'clock, two officers of the Noble
Guard took their places to the right and left of the
papal throne. The Noble Guard, I should have
stated, consisted of the noble or royal families of
Rome who still remain loyal to the Pope.
" At half -past ten o'clock the Swiss, the Palatine,
and Noble Guards, to the number of two hundred
and fifty, filed in and made a passage up the centre
aisle, and presented arms to their commanding officer.
Then the magnificent choir of St Peter's struck up
an anthem of welcome. The silver trumpets sounded
for the first time in fourteen years, and a long line of
Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops, fully mitred,
entered the Hall of Canonization. The grandest
looking of these Cardinals was an Englishman, Cardinal
Howard. Each dignitary was attended by a chaplain.
Among the Bishops were several Chinamen, Greeks,
Armenians (which surprised me), and Indians, in
addition to German, French, English, Spanish, and
" After the long line of dignitaries, to the number
of two hundred and fifty, had marched in, a murmur
arose, and then, amidst breathless silence, his Holiness
Pope Leo XIII., entered. A signal was given, and
every soldier fell on his knees and presented arms.
All eyes were strained to catch sight of the great ruler
of men's minds, whose sway over the spiritual welfare
of two hundred millions of human beings excites the
AS A TRAVELLER BY LAND 61
wonder of England. Borne aloft on a Chair of State,
on the shoulders of eight men, his Holiness entered,
waving his wan thin hand, bestowing his blessing on
the right and on the left to the kneeling multitude.
He wore his tiara, or triple crown. Having arrived
at the pontifical altar, the chair was lowered, the Pope
was conducted to his throne, and the ceremonies
commenced. Thirty-two princes of the Church, or
Cardinals, first approached, knelt before the throne,
and kissed the Pope's ring of office. Fifty Archbishops
then approached and kissed the Pope's knee, and two
hundred Bishops followed in quick succession, knelt
and kissed the Pope's right toe, in token of their
fidelity and obedience to the successor of Peter.
" The ceremony of Canonization then commenced.
The tiara was removed, and his Holiness knelt before
the altar and prayed. Then followed the formal
demand for the Canonization of Joannes Baptista
Rossi, Canon of St Mary in Cosmedin, who was born
in Liguria in 1698 ; Laurentius di Brindisi, a Capuchin,
who was born in 1559 ' Joseph Labre, a mendicant,
who was born in 1748, at Amettes in France ; and
Clara de Montefalco, an Augustine nun, who was born
in 1268. The decree was read, and, after the third
demand, the Pope celebrated High Mass, and was
served or waited upon by some Roman nobles and
Cardinals. After Mass, or before its completion, the
oblations were presented to the Pope. About fifty
or sixty Bishops, Priests, and Franciscan brothers
approached the throne, and presented Leo with gilded
bread on plates of silver, wine and water in gold and
silver barrels, and a number of cages containing live
doves, pigeons, and smaller birds. Then the Cardinal
Procurator offered to his Holiness a document in a purse
of white silk embroidered in gold, and it was ordered
that the news of the Canonization be sent abroad, and
be proclaimed in all parts of the earth.
" It was three o'clock before the ceremonies and
62 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
grand music had concluded, and the sediari and porta
flambelli re-entered eight of the former to carry the
chair, and the two latter one on each side of the chair
bearing enormous fans to keep his Holiness fanned,
and supplied with cool, fresh air. To the strains of
solemn yet joyful music the Pope and Bishops passed
out again in procession, and the Canonization was
It was with special appreciation, more than twenty
years later, that H. H. read the " In Memoriam "
lines to Pope Leo XIII. in " Punch " by Sir Owen
" The long day closes and the strife is dumb,
Thither he goes where temporal loss is gain,
Where he that asks to enter must become
A little child again.
And since in perfect humbleness of heart
He sought his churches' honour, not his own,
All creeds are one to share the mourners' part
Beside the empty throne."
Travelling on the Continent with H. H. gave,
perhaps, the best illustration of his monumental
energy. Station-masters and porters knew his familiar
figure rushing down the platform with arms burdened
with every conceivable newspaper and magazine,
which he read at lightning speed. At each stopping
place he jumped out to buy a fresh armful of papers,
until by the end of the journey the carriage was nearly
snowed under. He invariably met some of his
numerous old friends or parliamentary colleagues
on the train, and would spend hours playing bridge
or exchanging reminiscences.
He would then open a bulging despatch bag con-
taining postal blue books and correspondence, and
/.'/VTV" f r// -."/V.
THE MULREADY ENVELOPE
ENVELOPE ISSUED BY EI.IHU BURRITT, ADVOCATING OCEAN PENNY POSTAGE
AS A TRAVELLER BY LAND 63
would set to work upon them for a couple of hours,
oblivious of all surroundings. In this fashion the
journey would be accomplished, and he would reach
his destination perfectly fresh and anxious to join in
any festivity that was taking place. It is entirely
characteristic of him that on one occasion, when he
and his daughter reached Cologne at two in the morning
after a sixteen hours' journey, he should propose
showing her over the Cathedral then and there.
The opening of the year usually found him on the
Riviera with his family. At one time they made their
head-quarters at Monte Carlo, but latterly they
preferred wintering at the beautiful Winter Palace at
Cimiez. " If it were not for the Rooms, Monte Carlo
would be the health resort of Europe/' was the opinion
of Sir William Jenner, and it has certainly a far milder
climate than the rest of the French Riviera. It was
when he was staying in the Principality that H. H.
received a letter from his agent at Canterbury earnestly
entreating him on no account to date his election
address from Monte Carlo !
H. H. was never a great gambler, but he thoroughly
enjoyed an hour or two in the Rooms. He used no
elaborate system, but staked on Zero every time,
besides playing on various combinations of the number
9. Nine he always considered his lucky number.
It became an accepted thing in his family that on
arrival at any strange hotel he should be given Room
9 or 99, or any sleeping berth on board ship would
almost invariably be either of those numbers.
The Rules and Regulations governing the Casino
are very strictly enforced, and H. H. could remember
seeing Lord Randolph Churchill turned away because
he was wearing brown boots, while another Chancellor
64 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
of the Exchequer Mr Lloyd-George met the same
fate because he wore a Norfolk coat. The latter case
was particularly annoying as the rest of the party,
who had also been golfing, were allowed in the Rooms
on the strength of their being clad in plain country
clothes a fine distinction that evidently appealed to
Most Monte Carlo stories are too well known to
be worth repeating, but H. H. was particularly fond
of the oft-told tale of the man who rose from the tables
muttering " Ruined ! Ruined ! " as he staggered out
of the room. A minute later a shot was fired in the
garden, and the officials, rushing out, found the man
lying in the middle of the path with a smoking revolver
in his hand. In accordance with custom the officials
stuffed his pockets with bank notes ere they went to
The moment they were out of sight the " corpse "
rose to his feet, and re-entered the Casino. The indig-
nation of the officials can be imagined when after a
hue and cry they finally discovered him playing a
winning game of rouge et noir with their money, secure
in the knowledge that they dared not arrest him.
On the brow of the hill just opposite the Casino
stands the little English Church. On one occasion
as the first morning hymn No. 4 was given out, one
of the congregation rose and left the building. He
hurried to the casino to put a sovereign on 4 en
plein. It turned up three times running. The lucky
winner could not keep such a piece of good fortune
to himself, with the result that on the following Sunday
the church was packed to the brim. As the first hymn
was given out there was a perfect stampede for the
door, as the gamblers young and old rushed to the
AS A TRAVELLER BY LAND 65
Casino. Needless to say the number did not turn
up ; but that is the reason why the authorities have
found it advisable to discontinue the use of all hymns
numbered lower than 37.
The visits to the Riviera were rendered doubly
enjoyable by the presence of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy
and his charming gifted daughters, who lived at Nice,
and entertained every one of distinction and brilliance.
Sir Charles lived to the great age of 84, and was never
tired of talking of his early days when he was the leader
of the Young Ireland movement. His conversational
opening, " When I was in prison," was a little startling
to anyone unacquainted with his romantic history.
At Nice one morning when H. H. was having d4-
jeuner with him, Sir Charles called over a waiter to
tell him that he wanted the claret bottle to be corked.
" Gar f on " he began, but forgot the French word
" Gar f on, voulez-vous voulez-vous bouchoir bouchon
boucher " all the time waving the claret on high
" what the devil's the word ? "
" Shure and is it corrk yer honour was afther
wantin' ? ' said a mellifluous voice in the purest
Tipperary, and the " gargon " was joyfully hailed as
a compatriot by Sir Charles.
Sir Charles was constantly receiving letters from
England insufficiently stamped, which necessitated his
paying the extra postage. After a time he became
so incensed that he declared he would no longer accept
such letters. Soon after this a letter arrived addressed
in H. H.'s flowing hand and bearing a penny stamp.
This was altogether too much for Sir Charles who
quite reasonably thought that H. H. of all people
might be expected to know better and he positively
declined to take the letter in. One of his daughters,
66 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
feeling this was rather hard treatment of an old friend,
ran after the postman and paid the fine herself. When
the letter was opened it was found to contain a cheque
for 100. H. H. had made arrangements for the
publication of Sir Charles's " Life of Carlyle," and
this was the first cheque from the publishers.
This little episode when repeated to H. H. con-
firmed him more fully than ever in his opinion that
the English post office is grossly unfair in fining the
innocent recipient double postage. Sir Charles under
the more generous French system was, after all, only
asked to pay the exact amount due.
A letter from Sir Charles, at Nice, to H. H., at Cannes :
MY DEAR HEATON,
You are demented to think of going to Rome
You left London to avoid the cold, and there is
cold everywhere in Europe except where you are.
Sit still and enjoy the sunshine, and you may turn your
leisure to good purpose by planning the business of
next session as far as you are concerned. If the
Government include Penny Postage in their pro-
gramme it will be a great triumph for you.
I answered your last letter to London, but I will
answer you again if you come over to lunch some day,
say Wednesday, or any other day that suits you better,
if you send me a telegram the night before.
If it be reasonably probable that Penny Postage
is coming on, you ought to prepare a short modest,
practical speech, on that success, and an alternative
one to be ready in case the Government do nothing.
Here is work for a fortnight better than scampering over
Europe. When I see you I will suggest something still
more necessary to be done in your brief holiday.
C. GAVAN DUFFY.
AS A TRAVELLER BY LAND 67
Sir Charles also wrote the following from Nice
to H. H., in London :
MY DEAR HEATON,
If Stead puts his ghost into " The Review of
Reviews," his readers who endured with difficulty
General Booth, and Mrs Besant, and all his other mad
proteges, will certainly abandon him. The ghost
is a ghost from Scotland Yard. In exchange for the
Stead romance, I send you the last good mot here fit
to tickle the midriff of the Carlton Club. One of the
Members for this district, the late treasurer R., who had
to resign in connection with the Panama business,
admitted that he had got the money charged upon
him, but declared that instead of applying it to his
own use he had given it to the Secret Service fund !
(Fonds secrets). The client of a lawyer was since
detected in helping himself from the money on a
bronze plate where the lawyer deposited his fees.
" Que voulez-vous faire de cet argent-la ? " demanded
the angry notary. " Mais, monsieur, 1'envoyer au
I hope you are coming out, it would be a wise
disposal of the three weeks which remain. If so pray
send me Parkes, and I will have it read and ready
to return when you are going back to London.
If you desire it, or think any good end would be
promoted, I shall be happy to see Mr W., but in truth I
have no longer any desire to make new acquaintances.
That is a pleasure for men in the vigour of life. Send
I take the " Times " during the sitting of Parliament,
and shall see Gladstone's speech twenty-four hours
after it is delivered. He has a frightfully difficult
position with Labouchere and Company preparing
pitfalls. The crux appears to be the retention of the
Irish members at Westminster. For my part I am
quite content they should be excluded from the British
68 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Parliament, if it be distinctly understood that a
Parliament where we are not represented is not entitled
to impose taxes on us. We would be in the same
position as the Colonies and entitled to the same
Very faithfully yours,
C. GAVAN DUFFY.
It was always with regret that H. H. turned his
back on the Riviera, where he so greatly enjoyed the
blue skies and warm sunshine.
H. H. never travelled about without a mass of
correspondence and other papers which, owing to
his rooted objection to destroying even an envelope
or old invitation card, would soon assume enormous
proportions. It was his practice to leave these papers
unpacked to the last, so that they might be read and
studied up to the moment of departure. With the
cab at the door they would be thrust into two bursting
dispatch-cases, and porters would struggle to close
a gaping tin deed-box. Even then H. H. never felt
happy while they were out of his sight, and a stranger
might have imagined that the boxes contained priceless
jewels in place of postal guides and Blue books.
One particularly cold January, H. H. and his
family returned from Cimiez to Canterbury for the
election. It was a bitter night when they reached the
hotel, and the rooms seemed very inadequately heated.
The manager moved them into another part of the
house, where they were agreeably surprised to find
the sitting-room most beautifully warm and cosy.
As the evening wore on the room grew hotter and
hotter, and the hotter it became the more H. H. con-
gratulated himself on securing immunity from the icy
AS A TRAVELLER BY LAND 69
The reason of the unexpeected warmth was made
apparent early the next morning, when H. H., whose
room adjoined the sitting-room, awoke to find himself
half-choked with smoke. The sitting-room, which had
been smouldering the whole day before, had now burst
into flames. He tried to rush into the room to secure
his papers, but was held back by the firemen who had
arrived on the scene. H. H. offered a sovereign to
anyone who would rescue his boxes, and one of the
firemen dived into the smoke and reappeared with
the precious dispatch cases and tin box unharmed.
Family tradition says that H. H. drew a deep breath
of relief and then suddenly exclaimed, " Good heavens !
where are my children ? "
But as everybody knows family traditions are
well, family traditions.
AS A TRAVELLER
2. BY WATER
IT was the opinion of H. H. that every Member
of Parliament should be sent on a voyage round
the world before being permitted to take his
seat at Westminster, which is after all only
a paraphrase of Kipling's :
" What do they know of England
Who only England know ? "
Such an accusation could not be brought against
H. H., who visited almost every corner of the Empire
at one time or another. Age could not alter nor
custom stale his insatiable delight in sea-voyaging.
The moment he got on board he felt ten years slip
from him, and not the youngest traveller on his first
voyage could enter more enthusiastically into board-
It was a great pleasure to H. H. if he could find
a good chess-player amongst his fellow-passengers,
and many travellers will remember the groups that
used to gather round the chess-board when he was
playing. The hottest day in the Red Sea would
find him engaged in a fierce contest with another ardent
soul, upheld possibly by the thought of the long iced
lemon squash which was always the stake for which
he played in the tropics.
Although he must have made the voyage to
(Original in the fos session of Alexander Gilc/irist, J.P.)
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 71
Australia at least thirty times, his interest in the
various stopping places remained as fresh as ever.
He could never understand the attitude of the blase
traveller who refuses to be awakened at dawn to see
Mount Etna smouldering, or to watch the passage
through the Straits of Messina. That anyone should
choose an unbroken night's slumber in preference
to seeing or doing anything even mildly interesting
was to H. H. utterly incomprehensible.
Throughout his busy life he had the enviable
faculty of dropping asleep at any time, anywhere,
and after five minutes' light slumber waking up
refreshed and invigorated. It was only after his
serious illness in 1911 that he learnt the misery of
sleepless unending nights, and the slow coming of
the longed-for morning. In speaking of insomnia
one day at luncheon, at the Bath Club, Sir Josiah
Symon, the Chief Justice of South Australia, quoted
A. L. Storrie's verses :
" Measure me out from the fathomless tun,
That somewhere or other you keep
In your vasty cellars, O wealthy one,
Twenty gallons of sleep.
Twenty gallons of balmy sleep,
Dreamless and deep and mild,
Of the excellent brand you used to keep
When I was a little child.
Measure me out, O merchant mine,
Twenty gallons of sleep."
H. H. repeated the last line, and those who were
fond of him were struck with the sadness in his voice.
In his early days of travel H. H. had many ex-
citing adventures, including three days in a cyclone
72 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
and a collision. An account of the collision was found
in an old diary :
" The P. & O. Steamship ' Peshawur ' (Captain E. J.
Baker) left Gravesend on September I4th, 1882, bound
for Australia, having on board 91 first-class passengers
and 56 second-class, beside a heavy mail from England.
" She left Colombo on the evening of Saturday,
October I4th. All went well until the following
day, Sunday, October i5th. In the evening the
majority of the first-class passengers were on the
quarter-deck attending divine service. The evening
was beautifully fine and clear. The service concluded
at nine o'clock and the people were going to saunter
about, when a large ship was noticed on the starboard
bow with all sails set.
" The officer on watch, Mr Buchanan, alleges that
when first seen the ship had no lights visible. Two
minutes afterwards a red light was suddenly shown.
This light was also seen by a large number of passengers
from three to six minutes before the collision. One
of the first to see it was Captain Baker, who had been
attending prayers on the quarter-deck. He immedi-
ately rushed on to the bridge and, seeing the danger
of his steamer continuing her course, he gave orders
to stop the engines and a second order to go full speed
astern in order to permit the sailing ship to pass the
rule being that a steamship should keep out of the
way of a sailing ship.
" Unfortunately at this moment, the master or
captain of the ship also changed her course in place
of following the strict regulations to keep on her way
or port the wind being on her port quarter. She
luffed right up, starboarding her helm, and dashed
" My cabin was on the port side near the engines
and I was lying down reading. I had just looked
at my watch and found it was nine o'clock, and I
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 73
heard the bell ring to stop her. A minute afterwards
I heard the bell ring for full speed astern, but at first
thought it was merely stopping because the bearings
were heated, which is often the case. However, to
satisfy myself I leisurely got up and walking out found
the purser and a passenger quietly smoking their
pipes, and I concluded that all was right.
' However, I walked over to the foot of the stairs
on the starboard side leading to the hurricane deck
when like an avalanche there tumbled down the stairs
from the quarter-deck about twenty passengers and
stewards. I was knocked down and ' a ship on top of
us ' was shouted out. I rose and with a number of
others made along the starboard side of the aft of the
quarter-deck. Again I was knocked down, and on
looking up I saw a horrible black mass above my
head. I rose again and scrambled out of the way.
The confusion and consternation about me were
awful for a few minutes, and when the horrible un-
usually large red light drifted away there was some
relief. All men, women, and children, to the number
of 150, crowded to the after part of the deck and we
expected our vessel to go down. My wife called for
her little children, and you may imagine my horror
when I pictured their being crushed to death, as I
knew they were in bed apparently about the spot
where the ship ran into us. I tried to descend the
companion ladder into the saloon and found the re-
freshment bar shattered and a gaping hole in the
side of the ship. The iceman, a native, was lying with
an immense block of iron on his leg. On entering the
saloon I found our nurse with the youngest baby in
her arms all safe, and in the cabin I found our three
little boys, Jack, Reggie, and Bertie, sound asleep,
not even awakened by the awful crash a little above
them. It was a great relief to hurry back on deck and
tell my little wife that our children were safe.
" Passengers hurriedly compared notes and many
74 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
were the miraculous escapes recorded. Where ladies
were sitting a few minutes before there was nothing
but wreckage. An immense quantity of stones, bricks,
and mortar were strewn about this being the cement
from the bows of the other ship.
' ' The damage done to the ' Peshawur ' where she
struck near our centre consisted in cutting through our
waterways, splitting and twisting up the iron plating
below the main deck and knocking a hole through
the side four feet above the water.
"The vessel in freeing herself carried away the
bulwarks for twenty-five feet, carried away our gang-
way ladder, two large boats, that is, the life boat and
the cutter, also smashing the standard compass bridge,
the door of the captain's cabin, and breaking one of
" Our first duty was to find out if our steamer was
sinking as we expected, but in a few minutes it was
reported that we were making no water, and in fact
that we were safe.
"The machinery gave a few revolutions, which
further convinced us that all was well.
" Our next anxiety was for the other ship. On
looking round we saw she had not sunk, for she was
showing blue lights. Captain Baker gave orders to
steam back close to the ship, and he sent a boat in
charge of the second officer to ascertain the extent
of her injuries and inquire if she wanted any assistance.
"The delay was somewhat painful, because the
boat took a considerable time in returning in conse-
quence of our ship having to steam some distance off
to avoid a second collision.
" At last the boat drew alongside and the quarter-
master shouted to the captain : ' " Glenroy," sir, bound
from Mauritius to Madras and Calcutta, four hundred
coolies on board and cholera broken out.'
" The second officer said that the captain of the
' Glenroy ' (tonnage 1139) reported the bow of his
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 75
ship was completely knocked away, his fore compart-
ment full of water, foremast badly sprung, and the
ship making water through her foremast water tight
bulkhead. She was an old iron ship of 25 years'
standing. The captain's request that the ' Peshawur '
would stand by him all night was of course complied
" When day dawned the full extent of the havoc
was visible. We spent many hours endeavouring to
make fast to the ' Glenroy ' in order to tow her into
" Only five knots an hour was the speed allowed,
because the other ship was making water very fast,
although all hands were at work on the pumps.
" On Thursday morning at eight o'clock we arrived
off Galle, where we signalled and obtained a pilot boat
who took off our telegrams, and in the afternoon we
arrived safely at Colombo without the loss of a single
The end of the story is worth recording. At the
subsequent Inquiry it was proved there was no one
on watch on board the " Glenroy " at the time of the
collision ; the captain and the first and second mates
were playing cards. Before coming into court they
had evidently agreed on all telling the same story,
and, when each in turn was asked at what hour the
accident happened, one after the other they replied :
" Oh, half -past eight, or a quarter to nine or there-
abouts ; Oh, half-past eight, or a quarter to nine or
thereabouts. Oh, half-past eight, or a quarter to nine
or thereabouts." The unanimity of this simple
utterance at once threw suspicion on their bona fides
and ultimately led to their undoing. Truly was it
written, the way of transgressors is hard.
In 1875, the civilized world was shocked to hear
76 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
of the murder of Mr James Woodford Birch, the
British Resident of Perak. A full account of the
assassination is given in Sir Frank Swettenham's
book " Malay Sketches." The Sultan Abdullah and
others were banished as accomplices, while the three
chiefs who actually planned the murder were sentenced
H. H. was firmly convinced of the innocence of the
Sultan Abdullah, and interested himself greatly in
trying to secure his pardon, and partly as a result of
his representations Abdulla's term of banishment in
the Seychelles was considerably reduced ; but as Mahe,
the capital of the Seychelles, is locally supposed to
be the original Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve would
have considered this a strange form of punishment.
The ex-Sultan wrote the following letters to H. H. :
PORT VICTORIA, SEYCHELLES,
April i6th, 1891.
It is my melancholy duty to have to announce
you the lamented death of my wife which took place
on Easter day at 8 a.m. ; she leaves behind her several
children to bewail her loss. This is to me all additional
sorrow. Before this sad event I have been deploring
my situation as an exiled man ; now I have to deplore
the loss of my wife. I think it is the will of the
Almighty, and I therefore resign myself to Him,
bearing in mind the Latin maxim " Per ardua libertas."
With my kindest regards,
ex- Sultan of Perak.
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 77
ist May, 1902.
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
I have the pleasure to present and introduce
to you my son, Rapas Chulan, the bearer of this letter,
who accompanies Sultan Idris of Perak on the invi-
tation of His Majesty's Government, to witness the
I take this opportunity to again convey to you
my heartfelt thanks for the kind assistance you have
rendered to me in having worked for my release from
the Seychelles. This is a debt of gratitude which it
would be impossible for me to pay.
I am sorry to tax your kindness. I still solicit
further help from you during this " Year of grace,"
the year of the Coronation of the King. I would even
feel grateful if you would take this opportunity to
approach His Majesty's Government and use your
powerful influence and those of your friends to intercede
for my freedom.
I have been in exile for 24 years. Whether I
merit such treatment or not Heaven knows. I now
seek for freedom and desire to return to my country,
not to reside there entirely, but to be at liberty to go
in and out as any free man.
Trusting you and your family are in good health,
and with kind regards to all.
Yours very sincerely,
ex-Sultan of Perak.
On the various occasions when H. H. visited the
Seychelles he always had interesting conversations
with the deposed Sultan. One year Abdullah presented
him with a wonderful collection of walking-sticks
made of carved ivory and cinnamon wood. For
78 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
some years H. H. had a rather unique collection of
walking-sticks of strange shapes and designs, which
were always kept in a dark corner in the hall of his
Eaton Square residence together with the ordinary
umbrellas and sticks. This not infrequently led to
unforeseen results. One Sunday morning during the
season a very dandified young man, who was stopping
in the house, borrowed a stick and had walked half-
way up the Square before he realized that he was
carrying part of the jaw-bone of a shark. He went
back to change it for an inoffensive-looking stick with
a brown knob. It was only when he reached Church
Parade that he discovered the inoffensive brown knob
to be the head of Disraeli, while the rest of the stick
represented a full length cartoon of the statesman.
It was a wonderful piece of carving a presentation
to H. H. from some admirer in Canterbury. After
this H. H. gave instructions for his curio sticks to be
kept apart, and when he no longer saw them he speedily
lost interest in his collection.
In 1883 H. H. visited Mauritius for the first time,
and thereafter his associations with the island were
of the happiest. A feeling of mutual sympathy and
friendship existed until his death, and all things that
affected the progress and prosperity of the Island were
eagerly watched by him. Letters and weekly papers
from Sir William Newton kept him informed of the
general progress of the Colony, and were an additional
link in the chain of pleasant memories.
Mauritian friends must forgive a twice-told tale
for the sake of an old friendship. At philatelic gather-
ings, H. H. could never resist his best-loved story of
the keen but impoverished stamp collector who
advertised " Wanted to meet a lady possessing a
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 79
2d. blue Mauritius stamp with a view to matrimony."
It was in company with Sir John Pope Hennessy
that stormy petrel of the Crown Colonies that H. H.
first visited Mauritius.
Prior to Pope Hennessy's appointment to the
Government of Mauritius, he had been offered and
had accepted the Government of New South Wales ;
but the appointment had been met by so determined
a protest on the part of the New South Wales Ministers
that the Secretary of State had been compelled to
inform him that " the appointment could not be
A new friendship with H. H. inspired Pope
Hennessy with the hope that he had found in him a
man of sufficient influence over the Press and public
opinion in N.S.W. to convert Ministers from their
determination not to accept him as Governor.
The following year 1884 H. H., on the invitation
of Pope Hennessy, used his good offices with the
Colonial Office, and his influence with the Press, in
support of a scheme of constitutional reform for
Mauritius to which the Home Government was opposed
on general principles of policy.
The form of constitution proposed was first set up
in New South Wales in the year 1842, and by an
Imperial Act of 1850 was extended to all the Australian
Colonies except Western Australia. It was a form
of Government expressly designed to serve as a bridge
over which the Colonies might pass to the full liberties
The advocates of the system included two parties :
those who desired to see it carried out to what they
conceived to be the logical consequence of complete
separation from Great Britain, and those who desired
8o SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
to see it carried out to what they conceived to be
the logical consequence of a federated British Empire.
Pope Hennessy was an adherent of the former party,
H. H. of the latter.
When the unwilling consent of the Colonial Office
had been given to the constitutional changes proposed
by Hennessy, the Colony became divided between
adherents of the two parties. Pope Hennessy himself,
in social conversation on the subject of Home Rule
for Ireland, made no disguise of his adhesion to the
policy of Home Rule with a view to complete separa-
tion. In public his use of the formula " Mauritius
for the Mauritians " could leave no doubt of the
ultimate issue he desired.
The stormy years that ensued, the suspension and
subsequent reinstatement of Pope Hennessy, on
the petition of the majority of the colonists, followed
by his final retirement a year later, gave H. H. cause
for grave anxiety. His personal friendship and
admiration for the brilliant attainments of Pope
Hennessy were not always in accord with his views
upon the policy adopted by the latter. ' You cannot
know what it is to live and, if necessary, to die for
Ireland," Pope Hennessy said not without emotion
when Sir Charles Bruce, holding the Office of Colonial
Secretary, tendered his resignation, feeling he could
no longer with honour support the Governor.
In 1895, Sir Charles Bruce was offered the appoint-
ment of Governor of Mauritius, and accepted it as
the supreme vindication of his action. During his
administration, and largely due to his initiative, the
penny postage system was extended to Mauritius.
The influence Sir Charles exerted in the cause of
cheapening and extending post and cable communi-
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 81
cation proved of the utmost value to H. H. in voicing
the desires of our distant Colonies.
In 1884, H. H. wrote to the Governor of Mauritius
on the subject of a duplicate cable to Australia via
the Cape. Sir James Anderson, Managing Director
of the Eastern Telegraph Company, had declared
that the weather was so bad between the Cape, Mauri-
tius, and Australia that it must always be next to im-
possible to effect repairs. It was proved that the
contention of the Telegraph Company was ill-founded,
and the outcome of H. H.'s letter was that the Council
of Government voted a subsidy for a term of years
and resolved that he should be asked to represent
the Colony at an International Telegraph Conference
which was to be held at Berlin in June, 1886. The
cable from Natal to Australia, touching at Mauritius,
was completed fifteen years later.
H. H. greatly valued a beautiful old French cruet-
set which bore the following inscription :
..' PRESENTED TO J. HENNIKER HEATON, M.P.,
FROM GRATEFUL MAURITIAN FRIENDS."
The mustard-pot belonging to the set was stolen
by a dishonest servant, and all efforts to trace it proved
unavailing. After a lapse of twelve years H. H. re-
ceived a letter from the manager of a foundry, saying
that a cup bearing his name had been brought in with
some other old silver to be melted down. H. H. at
once bought it back and the complete set is now
in the possession of his son, Herbert Henniker Heaton,
Assistant-Colonial Secretary of Mauritius.
A vote of sympathy was extended by the Council
of the Government of Mauritius when the news of
the death of H. H. reached the Colony.
82 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Dr Laurent in proposing the motion said : " The
Colony has lost a friend of many years and the Mother
Country a distinguished Citizen."
This last act of sympathy on the part of Mauritius
could not fail to touch deeply Lady Henniker Heaton,
who knew how warmly he had loved his old friends
in the beautiful Island.
In 1889 H. H. paid a flying visit to India and
China, but, unfortunately, his stay in both countries
was too short to yield much in the way of reminiscences.
A complimentary notice, referring to his postal cam-
paign, written by a Babu appeared in one of the
papers two years later :
" Penny postage all throughout this wide world,
which all pretty well belong with Great Britain, and
the sun hardly never set on it shall be one of the
certain accomplishments before conclusion of nine-
teenth century. When this desirable desideratum
have been secured for us, to whom shall we lift eyes in
token of gratitude for service done ? Grand Old
Man ? No. Lord Lansdowne ? No. Lord Salis-
bury ? No, certainly not. When that day shall
be arrived, let us then sacrifice ourself on bended knee
and give all devotion and reverence richly deserved
to the noble Marquis of Canterbury, who elevate him-
self after many years hard struggle with it, up from
Australian merchant to dictate terms of penny postage
to commercial Europe and the world. And get it
H. H. paid a second visit to China and Japan a
few years later, and while in Pekin he had the pleasure
of meeting Sir Robert Hart, the famous head of the
Chinese customs. A warm friendship existed between
Lady Hart and H. H.'s family, and it was with great
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 83
pleasure he renewed acquaintance with Sir Robert
on his return to England after an absence of thirty
years. Soon after his arrival in London Sir Robert
and Lady Hart came to a tea party on the Terrace.
H. H. asked him what struck him as the greatest
change in London since he had left, and he replied
instantly, " The noise." Lady Hart related that
driving down to the House their carriage had got into
a block, and the policeman in charge of the traffic
held out his hand in the usual way ; quite unused to
this procedure, Sir Robert in great excitement leant
out of the carriage and shouted, " For God's sake,
move, man ; you'll be killed."
In 1890, H. H. made his first voyage to America.
It was then he began his life-long friendship with
the great Postmaster-General of the United States,
the Honourable John Wanamaker. It was a friend-
ship that had its roots in a common love of humanity
and an abiding conviction of the necessity of a closer
union between the two great English speaking races.
Mr Wanamaker's heroic labours in connection with
Anglo-American penny postage, during the time of
and after he left office, undoubtedly paved the way
for the consummation of his cherished ideal. He was
one of the pioneers of an Anglo-American entente
cordiale ; and when he visited London he was the
first American ever elected a member of the Carlton
During H. H.'s visit to America, he spent much of
his time visiting the large towns and inspecting the
workings of their postal system. At a certain town
occurred one of those accidents which happen not only
in the best regulated families but also in the best
regulated post offices.
84 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
The postmaster called on H. H. and offered to
show him over the post office. In those days the
employment of women as clerks was something of an
innovation. The postmaster waxed eloquent on the
subject of their superiority over men : they were
more industrious and trustworthy, and as they neither
drank nor gambled they had less temptation to dis-
When H. H. and his conductor reached the post
office, they were surprised to find no clerks behind
the counter, while a long queue of customers were
waiting with every visible sign of annoyance. The
postmaster, followed by H. H., pushed his way to the
back office and opened the door.
His horrified ears were greeted with cries of,
' Ladies to the centre. Gentlemen give the right
hand. Set to partners."
The immaculate young women of the post office
were having a dance !
The mortification of the poor postmaster knew no
bounds. Such a thing had never happened before,
and was never likely to happen again, he assured H. H.,
who, needless to say, was highly diverted.
The postmaster's cup of humiliation was, however,
not yet full. He took H. H. to see a wonderful machine
for " postmarking " stamps. Up till then all stamps
were cancelled by hand, a lengthy process requiring
the services of several clerks. By means of this new
invention several hundred stamps were done a
minute, with the consequent saving of labour and
money. H. H. picked up a handful of letters and
examined the postmark with some care.
" I see they are all stamped with yesterday's
date," he said.
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 85
It was only too true. The clerk in charge had
forgotten to alter the date. Kindness suggests that
a veil be dropped over the sufferings of the unfortunate
postmaster, who sank into a fit of impenetrable
gloom, from which H. H/s sympathetic assurances
that " these accidents will happen " could not suffice
to arouse him.
It may here be mentioned that America was first
in the field with a postmark that was clear and read-
able, with the date, hour, and place clearly printed.
Under H. H.'s persistent efforts, the indecipherable
smudge that obliterated the Royal features on our
English stamps gave way to a fair imitation of the
clean cancelling used in America.
In the winter of 1905-6, H. H. made one of his
periodic visits to Australia. On this occasion he
decided to make the return journey via Fiji and
America, so that he might have the opportunity of
seeing his son, Herbert, who was then in the Colonial
Office in Fiji. The Governor at that date was Sir
Everard im Thurn, who gave a most cordial welcome
to H. H., and began a friendship which was continued
by an exchange of letters for some years. H. H. was
astonished to find such signs of civilization in far-off
Fiji. Shops with plate-glass windows and electric
light all seemed very far removed from the cannibal
island of popular imagination.
It was a great pleasure to H. H. to see his son after
so many years, and to hear of his early experiences
in the Colonial Office of Fiji. As a very junior cadet
he was sent out to make a report of a neighbouring
island. His youthful enthusiasm received a slight
check when the report was returned from head-quarters
with the gentle reproof scribbled across it, " You
86 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
write as one having authority and not as the
H. H. was greatly entertained by his son's ex-
periences as a magistrate, administering justice amongst
these simple children of nature. On one occasion
when he was on the bench a woman summoned a
man for ill-treating her, and knocking her down.
The man's defence was that she was his wife, and
therefore he had every right to do as he pleased in
his treatment of her. She stoutly denied being
his wife, and maintained that they had been baptized
together but not married. Judgment was given in
the woman's favour, but, after the court closed, the
magistrate, feeling a little uneasy about the affair,
consulted the Bishop. From the Bishop he learnt
that the couple had been neither married nor baptized
but were vaccinated together !
H. H. and his son had a number of stories to tell
each other, and at the end of two hours' conversation
his son said :
" And now I must tell you we have had a cable from
England announcing the Government's resignation,
and I am afraid you will have a great rush to get
home in time for the General Election."
" Impossible," cried H. H. " Before I left I had
an assurance from Balfour that no election would take
place for a long time. Why didn't you tell me the
moment I landed ? '
' Because," replied the son of his father, ' I
have been away five years, and I wanted to hear all
the home news, and I knew if I told you about the
General Election I should never hear a word."
H. H. hurried across America in a fever of im-
patience. By the generous kindness of Sir Thomas
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 87
Shaughnessy, the President of the C.P.R., special
arrangements were made which enabled him to catch
the ship to England with two hours to spare. He
reached Canterbury just in time for the election and
was returned by a majority of one thousand.
While in America, he heard that his name was
included in the New Year's Honours as K.C.M.G., and
he at once cabled home to decline the honour.
On his return, he found many letters of con-
gratulation awaiting him ; among them a line from
the Commander-in-Chief in India Kitchener of
Dec. 21, '05.
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
I am very glad of this opportunity of con-
gratulating you heartily on the K.C.M.G. you have
so well deserved.
In 1907 H. H. experienced his second earthquake,
the first having occurred in the South of France in
the late eighties, which was not attended by very serious
results. In this year he sailed for Jamaica in the
' Port Kingston," and enjoyed the pleasantest of
outward bound voyages in congenial company.
His own account of the earthquake is given :
' We arrived on Friday, nth January, at Kingston,
the capital of Jamaica, and on the following morning
we went by railway to Port Antonio, which is 49
miles from Kingston, where we were entertained at
1 Some words, written by Lord Kitchener of H. H. after his death, express-
ing his " friendship and sincere admiration of his services," are doubly prized
as coming from the great soldier and statesman who at the moment of writing
held in his hands the safety of England and the Empire.
88 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
a banquet and ball. Port Antonio is one of the
loveliest spots on earth, and the fine hotel is splendidly
situated. It is almost an island, being surrounded
on three sides with water, with a narrow neck of land
connecting it with the mainland. We returned on
Sunday morning. Our train stopped at several
beautiful places along the seashore, and we arrived
at Kingston about midday. In the afternoon we had
tea at the residence of the Hon. Clarence Bourne, the
Chief Secretary of the Colony, where we met Sir
Alexander Swettenham, and other notabilities of the
island, including Colonel Kitchener, brother of General
Lord Kitchener. Our party were lodged at the
Constant Spring Hotel, and on Monday morning we
went into the city to attend the Agricultural Conference,
where the wealthy representatives of the whole of
the West Indies were assembled to consider methods
for the development of the cotton, sugar, rubber, and
other industries. Admirable speeches were made by
the Governor, Sir J. A. Swettenham, the Archbishop
of the West Indies, and other leading men.
" I was invited by the Governor to lunch with him
at the Jamaica Club with several others, including
Sir James Fergusson, formerly our Postmaster-General,
Sir Daniel Morris, the Hon. Clarence Bourne, and Mr
Arnold Forster, M.P., late Secretary of State for War.
We had a very interesting luncheon at the Club,
which was a fine building, two storeys high, constructed
of brick, and surrounded by a high brick wall. We
rose from the luncheon table about half -past two. The
party returned to the Conference, with the exception
of Sir James Fergusson and myself. Sir James,
being a Director of the Royal Mail Steamship Company,
had an engagement with its local representative,
Captain Const antine.
" A few minutes before three I left the Club with
the Hon. Mr Cork. We drove to the post office, where
I had an interesting interview with the acting post-
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 89
master, the postmaster being ill. I then visited the
Supreme Court, and saw Sir Fielding Clarke on the
Bench, and accepted an invitation to dine with him
and Lady Clarke that night. They were old friends
I knew in Hong-Kong.
" Leaving the Supreme Courts I called at the leading
tobacco manufacturer in Kingston. He presented
me with a few cigars, and asked me to see the process
of manufacture in the basement of the shop. I
declined. Next day he congratulated me on not going,
for 40 of the 120 employees were killed two minutes
after my visit.
" I went up the main street from the post office with
my friend, and I saw thousands of people, men, women,
and children, jumping pell-mell into the streets. I
felt a singular shock, which they more readily detected
to be the first indication of an earthquake.
" A moment afterwards the earth rose and fell up
and down. There was an upward and downward
movement with shaking, but no swaying. For an
instant we did not realize what had occurred. Then
another great shock came, and a huge building, three
storeys high, fell right across the street a yard in front
of me. I looked round and saw another building
falling across the street just at my back, and the
building on my left-hand side also came down with a
" I took refuge with my friend on the right-hand of
the street, but the whole place was in darkness for
five minutes. The air was full of huge quantities of
dust and mortar, and everything was perfectly black.
When it cleared away I found myself looking like a
" A most awful sight met my eyes. We climbed
over the ruins of the buildings blocking the streets, and
we saw the population that had escaped from the
houses on their knees crying. Mothers were hugging
their little children and weeping. People were rushing
90 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
wildly about looking for their relatives. Others were
on their knees, some lying prone on their faces, crying
to Our Lord to be merciful and save them. I helped
to drag a few people from under the ruins, and then
made my way to the Club.
" To my dismay I found it was almost demolished.
The roof had fallen in, and the dining-room in which
we had lunched was a mass of ruins, being full of
bricks and stone. Then I met a young fellow, hatless
and coatless, with a handkerchief tied round his head.
I could not at first make out who it was talking
to me. Something then struck me, and I asked,
' Are you Gerald Loder ? ' and he said, ' Yes.' Of
course he was a very old friend of mine, having sat
with me in the House of Commons for several years.
He took me round to the back of the building and
showed me a poor fellow who had been pinned under
a huge pillar. It was impossible to extricate him.
His young and pretty wife threw herself on his dead
body and embraced him. She was gently raised,
but her dress was covered with his blood. Her reason
had fled, and the utterances of strong men were choked
in trying to express to her their sympathy. Three
days after the poor lady, a great favourite, had not
" At the same time, on the parapet of the second
floor, we saw the oldest member of the Club. We
assisted him down with a ladder. He, like Mr Gerald
Loder, had been writing in the writing-room when
the roof fell in. Mr Loder's escape was marvellous.
The chair in which he was sitting saved his life. The
roof fell in and by some means his coat was pinned to
the chair, and he could not get out without leaving
his coat behind.
" Another remarkable incident took place. A lady
passenger in our steamer had gone to her dressmaker's
to have a new dress tried on for the Governor's Ball.
It was on the second floor of the dressmaker's, and she
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 91
had just got off the old dress to have the new one
tried on, when the earthquake took place. She jumped
through the window into a tree, and thus saved her
life. The dressmaker was killed.
" Most of our party, all Members of Parliament, with
the exception of one, were at the Myrtle Bank Hotel.
It was lucky I did not go. I believe nearly 20 people
were killed there.
" That night I made my way to Constant Spring
Hotel, a few miles out of Kingston. The scene there
beggared description. The ladies, who had been
taking their afternoon rest, rushed out into the open
wrapped in blankets or anything they could get
hold of. I managed to get my baggage from my room,
the roof of which had fallen in, and we slept in the open
air that night without any covering. Next to me
was Mr Arnold Forster, M.P., with his wife and boy.
The hotel staff were very kind to us, and kept bringing
tea and fruit to us during the night.
" It was a long night. An hour before dawn, about
four o'clock, I saw a most beautiful sight. Just
above the line of fire, which was distinctly visible
blazing all night at Kingston, was the Southern Cross,
standing like a beautiful sentinel over the stricken
city with its thousands of homeless people. It was
a most impressive and touching sight. I have seen
the constellation of the Southern Cross in Australia,
but I had never before seen it looking so sadly beautiful
" Next morning I drove into Kingston and saw the
true extent of the destruction. An extraordinary
spectacle was presented by the inner walls of a
house being left standing, the outer walls having fallen
away ; and on every wall could be seen pictures,
potraits and paintings, making a curious feature amid
the scene of desolation, yet so painfully eloquent of
the ruin that had been wrought among the homes
of the people.
92 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
" When I got to our ship, I found 220 patients who
had been brought on board from the shore. All
night long the ship's doctor a wonderful young
fellow had been taking off limbs and attending to the
injuries of the wounded. Seventeen dead people were
carried from the ship, which has been well described
as a ' shambles.' The whole of the decks were covered
with blood. And this is the ship the Americans
complained so bitterly that the captain would not allow
them to take refuge on. We ourselves were not
allowed to go on board ; we had to go inland and camp
out in the open. We did not know until the day
after we left that five seamen were buried in the
ruins, although it was known that four of our passengers
who went out with us and were to return by the ship
had met their deaths.
" The Governor, Sir Alexander Swettenham, was
all the night long among the wounded ; and his wife,
a most magnificent woman, was at the temporary
hospital making tea and soup, and preparing bandages
for the injured people.
" Some American war-ships came into the British
harbour at Kingston immediately after the earth-
quake. My oldest friend once said to me in Australia,
' Would you rather have in your employ a fool or
a rogue ? ' His Excellency the Governor of Jamaica
would probably answer the latter, to-day. Sir
Alexander had been working night and day for 48
hours, and threw himself down to sleep for a few hours
on Thursday morning after the earthquake. It was
while he was asleep that his police inspector invited
or accepted the invitation of the American Admiral
to land an armed force in Jamaica. You may
imagine the horror of the Governor, knowing the feel-
ing unjust feeling certainly prevailing among the
poor, ignorant people of Jamaica, at finding what had
been done and how the action would be misunderstood.
He hurried to the Admiral and explained the situation.
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 93
The Admiral said his honour was also concerned, and
to satisfy their consciences or save their ' faces '
it was agreed to withdraw the armed force in two hours.
But in addition to this, letters were written, unwise
letters, and letters never intended for publication,
and I have no excuse for them. But this I know,
there would have been a riot among the negroes if
the American armed force had remained on land
for 48 hours. It is most deplorable, and I am heartily
glad peace was made with the United States authorities,
who, I believe, have no designs on our possessions in
the West Indies."
Lady Henniker Heaton was in England at the
time of the earthquake, and her anxiety was
truly great until the welcome cable reached her from
Jamaica : " Safe and well." On the return of the
' Port Kingston," she went down to Bristol to meet
her husband in the early morning. Many of the
passengers carried in their faces the memory of the
terrible scenes they had witnessed, and some of them
returned having left behind all that was dearest to
them on earth.
Shortly afterwards, H. H. received a post card from
a friend giving the biblical account of an earthquake,
and asking if it tallied with his own experience. It
was identical : "A great and strong wind rent the
mountains and brake in pieces the rocks : and after
the wind an earthquake : and after the earthquake a
fire : and after the fire a still small voice." There
was something mystical in the utter stillness of
the night of the earthquake when they lay awake
under the stars. Something not of the earth, when
a prophetic ear might yet have heard the " still small
94 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
H. H. had some strange stories to tell of the curious
sights he had seen. Like all great tragedies it was
not without a touch of comedy. One little incident
will serve. It happened that immediately before the
earthquake the proprietor of some hotel had taken
the manager into the garden and given him a month's
notice. No sooner had the words, " I shall not require
your services any longer," fallen from his lips than
the entire building collapsed in a heap. " Evidently
not ! " replied the manager, beneath a pile of
In 1910, H. H. and his family broke fresh ground
by visiting South America that modern Tod Tiddler's
ground where men may pick up gold and silver even
unto this year of grace. The reasons that guided this
choice were rather amusing. H. H. had been greatly
diverted by hearing one of Kipling's songs.
" Oh, weekly from Southampton
Great steamers white and gold,
Go rolling down to Rio
(Roll really down to Rio),
And I'd like to roll to Rio,
Some day before I'm old ..."
When therefore the doctor who was attending
Lady Heaton made a tentative suggestion of a winter
voyage in South America, it was hailed with enthu-
siasm. Sir Owen Philips, the Chairman of the Royal
Mail Steamers best and kindest of friends and most
popular of Members on both sides of the House-
smoothed the way, and one rainy morning H. H. set
sail in a " great steamer white and gold " for South
America. The mixture of nationalities on board
baffles description. There were men from every corner
of the globe, all bent on doubling or tripling their not
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 95
inconsiderable fortunes. There was a fair sprinkling
of youthful - looking Scotch engineers, who appeared
to be drawing princely salaries until one under-
stood something of the cost of living in South
Rio Harbour proved all and more than its admirers
claimed for it. It enabled H. H. to join that fortunate
company who can boast of having seen the three most
beautiful harbours in the world Sydney, Yokohama,
In Buenos Ayres, H. H. and Lady Heaton were
entertained to luncheon at the Jockey Club by Mr
Hicks Beach, the First Secretary at the British Lega-
tion, a nephew of the famous Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer. It was a much harassed Postmaster-General,
bombarded by " reforms " by H. H. on one side, and
refused supplies by Sir Michael Hicks Beach on the
other, who described himself as between the devil and
the deep blue sea. " I refer to the Right Honourable
the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the sapphirine
ocean." During his short stay, H. H. had very little
time to explore the country ; but he was much im-
pressed by all he saw and heard of its prosperity.
Naturally, he found many points of comparison
between the pastural and agricultural aspects of South
America and Australia. For the emigrant with no
capital but plenty of energy he thought Australia
offered the best prospects, but for the man with some
capital to invest he thought the Argentine would
yield quicker results.
As I have said, it was H. H.'s custom to visit
Australia every few years, spending any time between
three days and three weeks in Sydney. The mail-
boats always stop at least twelve hours at Ceylon,
96 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
and to Ceylon he always returned with the greatest
enjoyment. The exquisite beauty of the island was
a favourite theme of his. He felt it an injustice that
the gentle brown creatures who ministered in so ex-
cellent a fashion to one's comfort should be described
in the well-known hymn as " vile."
On his last visit to the Island, H. H. and his daughter
lunched at Government House with the newly
appointed Governor, Sir Robert Chalmers, who had
invited an interesting party to meet them. After
luncheon Sir Robert showed them a beautiful banyan-
tree in the garden. The banyan-tree throws out
downward shoots from its spreading branches, which
take root in the ground and support the parent tree
in its old age. Sir Robert told his guests that this was
always shown to little Cingalese children as an example
for them to follow.
They returned on board with great armfuls of
exquisite smelling temple - flowers, and masses of
scarlet blossom from the gardens of Government
On this last visit, H. H. greatly missed his friend,
Sir Hugh Clifford, who after distinguished services
in Ceylon had been transferred as Governor of the
Gold Coast. Some time before H. H. had had the
pleasure of meeting Lady Clifford, formerly Mrs
Henry de la Pasture, and always spoke regretfully
of so much brilliance and charm being lost to
It has not been possible to enumerate the many
voyages H. H. made backwards and forwards to
Australia ; but after the trip just mentioned he
received a letter of congratulation from Joseph
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 97
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
You must have had a most interesting tour and
I congratulate you on having the time and spirit to
undertake it. I thank you for carrying the messages
of goodwill to me from my colonial fellow subjects.
I do, as you say, feel very much their kindness, which
in present circumstances is even more welcome than
I am still getting better and my medical advisers
assure me and themselves of my ultimate ability to
take my share of work, but for the present I must still
keep out of public life and take an amount of rest
which may be good for my illness, but which is cer-
tainly very hard upon my stock of patience. Later
on I will let you know how I proceed and I hope that
I may see you and other friends whom I am at present
rather keeping back, as I so far trust the assurance
of my doctors that I believe in a comparatively short
time I shall be much better than I am now.
During H. H.'s voyages to and from Australia,
Marconi very generously placed at his disposal the
wireless service on board. Every morning the news
of the world was flashed across the great ocean, and
at breakfast the daily bulletin was laid on H. H/s
On the morning of April i7th, 1912, while in the
Indian Ocean, the terrible news of the disaster to the
" Titanic " was received :
98 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
THE MARCONI INTERNATIONAL MARINE COMMUNICATION
R.M.S. "MALOJA." ijth April 1912.
News received direct from Fremantle Station.
A message received from Halifax says :
The " Titanic " is entirely lost
The s.s. " Virginian " reports that although she was
called by Wireless she arrived too late
The s.s. " Carpathian " has picked up life boats con-
taining 675 passengers
It is generally conceded that there are no survivors other
than the 675 as first reported
Estimated death roll 2403
For such lives as were saved the undying gratitude
of two nations went out to Marconi. His marvellous
invention enabled the devoted heroism of the Marconi
operator, Mr John Phillips, to send out cries for help
from the sinking ship, which were heard and answered
by the s.s. " Carpathian " and other vessels.
It was during H. H.'s visit to Sydney in 1912 that
a presentation was made to him of an illuminated
address and a gold and silver inkstand mounted on
Australian blackwood. The lid was inlaid with penny
stamps of Canada, New Zealand, India, New South
Wales, and South Africa ; beneath this there was the
inscription : " Presented to Sir John Henniker Heaton
as a souvenir from the citizens of the Commonwealth
The address was as follows :
COMMEXDATORE GUGLIELMO MARCONI
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 99
SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON, Bart.
We, the undersigned citizens of the Common-
wealth desire to express to you our sincere congratu-
lations for the long, arduous, and heroic fight you have
made for Imperial Penny Postage throughout the
From your first speech in the British Parliament
in 1886 till the adoption of Penny Postage in the
Commonwealth last year, you have never failed or
flagged in your unselfish devotion to this great principle.
You have had to fight against vested interests,
prejudices, and apathy, and have often stood almost
alone, but now, having triumphed, we thank you for
your magnificent work.
Your name will be associated with our postal system
in the future along with that of Sir Rowland Hill,
and it will shine ever more brightly as the generations
of men come and go.
We are glad the British Government has recognized
the merit of your great services, and has granted you
a Baronetcy in your life, as too often our greatest
reformers are only recognized after death. That you
may be long spared to enjoy the honour so nobly won
is the desire of
Governor-General of Australia.
In reply to a letter from H. H., describing his
enjoyable visit to Australia, Lord Jersey wrote, from
Middleton Park, Bicester, November 3rd, 1912 :
ioo SIR JOHN HENN1KER HEATON
MY DEAR SIR JOHN,
A letter from you rouses many pleasant re-
collections, and increases my regret that I cannot
join in those cheerful chats and stories at the Carl ton
Club with their soupgon of lively spices. I am
getting on fairly well, but have to avoid much exertion.
People go such a pace nowadays I am not al-
luding only to motors that it requires more strength
and energy than I possess to keep up with them.
One thing is quite certain that your work will
never be omitted from the record of human develop-
ment, and even the appreciation of Dukes and Cardinals
will not outweigh that of the masses of humble people
who have derived benefit therefrom.
You will be interested to know that my younger
son has just visited Australia, and I am much gratified
by the kind way in which he has been welcomed by
my old friends. It has greatly touched Lady Jersey
We realize once more the warmth of Australian
hospitality and friendship. Now I hope that you
are getting on well and that you and Lady Heaton are
in good health.
In May 1913 H. H. made his last voyage.
The voyage to Australia out and home was achieved
without any special incident to mark it. At Adelaide
he took a final leave of his old friend Sir Samuel Way,
Chief Justice and acting-Governor of South Australia.
To all who know Sir Samuel Way, it is unnecessary to
add any praise of his unfailing kindness and goodness
of heart. Although Sir Samuel was only just recover-
ing from a serious illness, he insisted on meeting H. H.
and Lady Heaton at the station and driving them to
his house. At luncheon he told a story of his favourite
AS A TRAVELLER BY WATER 101
little step-grandson. Madame Melba was expected to
tea, and before her arrival Sir Samuel explained to
the little boy that he was about to see the greatest
singer in the world, and he must be very good and
quiet. Little five-year-old replied, " I don't care,
I don't want to see her and I shan't be good." Shortly
after this Madame Melba arrived and wishing to please
the children she sang a few golden notes. She had
not got very far when she was interrupted by a small
boy standing in front of her and peering down her
throat. " Have you a bird in your jroat ? " he in-
quired anxiously. Madame Melba declared this the
prettiest compliment she had ever been paid.
In Sydney H. H. watched the arrival of the
Australian Navy as it steamed majestically into Sydney
Harbour, where Admiral Sir George Patey took over
the Command of Australian waters from Sir George
The town was en jete and a magnificent ball was
given to the fleet by His Excellency Sir Gerald and
Lady Edeline Strickland. A reception was given
in the Town Hall to the officers of H.M.A.S. " Sydney,"
commanded by Captain John Glossop, which was the
occasion of the presentation of a beautiful ship's
bell from the citizens. Sailors are notorious for the
shortness of their public speeches, and Captain Glossop's
reply was no exception. He spoke of the sacrifices
Australians had made for their Navy. " Some have
given their sons, some have given their daughters,
but you have given us the belle of Sydney."
How little anyone thought that the " Sydney "
and her captain would so soon see active service and
gain the undying distinction of sinking the " Emden."
The visit of the British Parliamentary party was
102 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
another opportunity for rejoicings and the Governor
gave a ball, the brilliance of which surpassed if anything
H. H. left Sydney in November 1913, and he and
Lady Heaton went on to the South of France for the
winter. From Nice he was recalled to London for
the duty of giving his younger daughter in marriage
to Major Adrian Porter, King's Messenger.
At the wedding, his old friends were delighted
to see him looking so well after his long absence from
England ; and he spoke of wintering the following
year in the West Indies but when the time came he
had taken the Last Voyage of all.
AS A HOST
" // thou be made the master of a feast lift not thyself up but be among them
as one of the rest take diligent care for them and so sit down.
"And when thou hast done all thy office take thy place, that thou mayest be
merry with them and receive a crown for thy well ordering of the feast."
ACCORDING to "Who's Who," "playing
chess and collecting books " were H. H.'s
forms of recreation ; but both these were as
naught compared with his love of entertain-
ing. To see his friends and make them known to his
other friends at a luncheon, dinner, or breakfast-party
was a never-failing source of joy to him. His breakfast-
parties after a morning swim at the Bath Club were
almost an institution, and he had scant patience with
lie-abeds unequal to such exertions. It was in vain
a certain famous K.C. brought statistics to prove
that " 90 per cent, of the prisoners in our jails spring
from the class that habitually rises before 8 a.m.,"
and that, on another occasion, Dean Wace of Canter-
bury, refusing a breakfast invitation, shook his head,
quoting reprovingly, " Early risers are conceited in
the morning and stupid in the afternoon."
At one of these breakfast-parties Mark Twain
told a curious story. The talk had been of " coin-
cidences," and Mark Twain spoke of an adventure he
had experienced as a young man. He was walking
in some town, when he espied what he called a " peach
104 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
of a girl." Being very young and very ardent, he
followed her at a respectful distance to see where she
lived. Almost immediately she turned into a house
and the door shut behind her. Mark Twain felt he
must make some excuse to see her again or find out
something about her, so plucking up courage he rang
boldly at the door.
It was opened by the young lady herself.
" Does Mr John William Gregory live here ? '
asked Mark Twain, inventing the first name that came
into his head.
" Yes, he does," was the unexpected answer.
' You don't say ! " ejaculated Mark Twain, as he
fled from the house in a frenzy of astonishment.
It was once H. H.'s fortune to be chairman of a
dinner given to his friend Mark Twain. By some
curious mental aberration the guest chosen to propose
the health of Mark Twain made a long speech lasting
half an hour and finally sat down, having never once
mentioned his name. Mark Twain rose to reply :
" Gentlemen, I'm very sorry I've only brought
one speech with me to-night, and as it doesn't seem
to suit the occasion I guess I'll sit down. I made
sure that gentleman was going to say what a fine fellow
I was and how honoured you all felt at having me and
that America should be proud of her son ; and in
reply I was going to say I was quite overcome by such
praise, far, far exceeding my deserts, and I was a
modest man, and he had made me blush, and I should
never forget his words and carry them back to America
in my heart, and so on. Well, gentlemen, I can't
think up another speech in a hurry, and speaking for
myself, I'm very sorry not to deliver that one, because
it was a real good speech and you would have liked
AS A HOST 105
This impromptu was greeted with roars of laughter,
and any awkwardness that might have been caused
by the contretemps was entirely swept away by
Mark Twain's bonhomie.
" I have dined in all quarters of the world : I
have eaten clam and canvas back in New York, I
have sipped Sake' in Tokio, I have munched junk at
sea and drunk debatable water in the tropics," wrote
H. H. describing his experiences ; and again, " Dining
as a fine art concerns rather the ear than the tongue,"
which is after all exactly what the witty old lady
meant when she said, " It isn't the menu that matters,
it's the men you sit next to."
The ideal dinner was a subject H. H. was fond of
discussing, and he embodied his views in a light essay,
wherefrom the gourmet will learn little but the lover
of good company find much food for thought.
" A company of mutes hired to mourn over the
joint and bird," was a description that could never be
applied to one of H. H.'s parties, and it is pleasing to
feel that such obsequies have become almost a thing
of the past. I have said that H. H. was not a good
platform speaker, but he had a very happy gift of after-
dinner speaking and some rare flash of wit or anecdote
could be counted on. He was Vice-President, if not
President, of a club formed for the purpose of limiting
speeches to ten minutes, whose members, be it said,
were greatly sought after.
Sunday luncheon-parties in Eaton Square brought
together such pleasant company as went far to attain
Disraeli's concept : "A little dinner, not more than
the Muses, with all the guests clever and some pretty."
In the old days, when Lord Russell of Killovren
was a constant visitor, his brilliance and rich store
io6 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
of anecdotes alone made such gatherings memorable.
Another Irish Chief Justice, Lord Killanin better
known as Judge Morris famous for his stories and
brogue, shed his wit at these parties in a manner never
to be forgotten. It is regrettable that the telling of
anecdotes has somewhat gone out of vogue, and the
younger generation will never know how such jewels
sparkled in the hands of the lapidary. Who having
heard can forget Lord Killanin telling his inimitable
tales of legal life, among them the story of a poor
Irishman about to be tried for moonlighting and his
indignation when his counsel asked him what defence
he wished to make ? " An' is ut a difince ye'd be
afther havin' me make ? Shure an don't I be tellin'
ye the foreman of the jury is me cousin Mike O'Grady
begorrah, that's me difince ! '
A breakfast-party in the House of Commons on
Coronation morning was an unusual form of enter-
tainment. Host and guests in full levee dress at that
early hour made a remarkable spectacle, which was
further accentuated by peers, trailing clouds of glory,
hurrying across to the Abbey. After breakfast Marconi
and H. H. were photographed together on the Terrace
by Sir Benjamin Stone. The portrait appeared in the
Italian papers with the inscription : " His Majesty King
Edward of England and Signor Guglielmo Marconi."
H. H. " liked a link," and felt a genuine pleasure
when he found himself introducing two friends, " Body ' '
and " Soul " by name, and thus forestalling the Last
Day ; and again when he had two Crimean veterans
at the House, and introduced Colonel F. to the late
General Sir Harry Rhodes Green with a cheery, " Well,
I suppose you last met in the trenches before Sevas-
topol ! " And so they had !
H. H. AND MARCONI ON CORONATION DAY, 1902, AT THE
HOUSE OF COMMONS
Photograph l>y Sir Benjamin Stone
AS A HOST 107
When the summer-time came, H. H. was always
one of the first to give tea on the Terrace, and almost
every day throughout the season he would give de-
lightful informal parties. The Terrace of the House
has rightly earned the reputation of being the coolest
place in London, and a fresh breeze may be found there
on the hottest days of June.
There was one especially amusing afternoon when
the American Ambassador, Mr Whitelaw Reid, and
his daughter, Mrs John Ward, brought Mr and Mrs
Nicholas Longworth the latter better known as Miss
Directly she came on the Terrace, H. H. took her
aside and said :
' There is a very grave matter I think it right to
mention to you before taking tea. You know we never
form a Government in this country without putting
an American girl in it for instance, Mrs Chamberlain,
Lady Harcourt, and the Duchess of Marlborough. Well,
all patriotic people in the country hoped and believed
you would have put aside your own selfish love matters,
and married Mr Balfour. With your father as
President of the United States, and your husband as
Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland, peace and
goodwill would be assured. In place of that you have
neglected a great patriotic duty."
Mrs Longworth pretended to look deeply perturbed :
"Oh, dear, I never thought of it," and whispered,
as she glanced towards her husband, " 7s it too late ? "
H. H. replied : " We will see. However, come to
He placed her next her old friend Mr Marconi,
who had of course seen a great deal of the Roosevelts
on his various visits to America.
io8 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
The moral of H. H.'s lecture was gracefully pointed
by the arrival of Mr Winston Churchill, the brilliant
son of a brilliant American mother, and a great English
statesman. Strawberries and cream were handed
round, and after tea there were beautiful roses for the
ladies as the party broke up amid laughter and pleasant
H. H. very greatly enjoyed the informal gatherings
which took place at Carlsbad, where he went yearly
for the cure. One day the talk turned, as was not
unnatural, on Postal Reform. H. H. told his listeners
that he had always advocated a measure enabling the
writer of a letter to get it back before it was delivered
if he could prove to the postmaster that he was the
H. H. instanced a case of a friend of his who had
inadvertently posted a letter, from abroad, to his
wife, which contained expressions of very warm regard
and was really intended for a lady he had recently
met. Realizing his mistake, he hurried to the post-
master to get the letter back but was met with refusal.
In a great state of agitation he telegraphed to his
wife : " Have posted a letter to you by mistake,
earnestly hope you will return it to me unopened as it
would cause us both great unhappiness." H. H. asked
his friend what had happened. " My wife was a
brick," he said, " and sent back the letter, but it cost
me a diamond bracelet to put it right with her ! "
" I wonder," asked H. H., " what these ladies
present would have done ? '
Elinor Glyn said she would write a book with
two endings, showing what would happen if the letter
was returned and if it was opened.
" I would send back the letter unopened, but it
AS A HOST 109
would br-reak my heart," an Italian lady gave her
" Of course I should open it, and so would every
one else ! " an Englishwoman said.
" I might send the letter back, but I guess I'd
use a steam-kettle first/' an American girl said.
Father Bernard Vaughan, who was also present,
was petitioned to preach a sermon on the right thing
to do under the circumstances.
Father Bernard Vaughan was to be met at Lady
Doughty 's luncheon-parties in Buckingham Gate,
where the conversation was always full of wit and
good-humoured badinage. One day there was a young
guardsman present who was obliged to leave early
in order to catch a train down to the country. He
was greatly alarmed at the possibility of losing the
train and bade farewell to his hostess in much per-
turbation. Father Bernard Vaughan turned to Lady
" I hope that young man is as concerned for
Eternity as he is for Time."
Mr Marconi was one of H. H.'s closest friends,
and they saw each other almost daily for many years.
H. H. stood as godfather to pretty little Degnia
Marconi, and was a great admirer of his fairy-like little
Some years ago H. H. and Marconi were dining
at the Savage Club, and were greatly entertained by
some " imitations " of well-known actors given by
one of the members. In particular they were struck
by the perfect imitation of Sir Herbert Tree as Richard
III, who in his well known fits of absent-mindedness
occasionally passed his hand across his brow, in-
quiring : " What play is this ? Ah, yes, ' Richard
III ' ; ah, thank you."
no SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
When the imitations were over H. H. thought it
would be amusing to go off to see the original, so he
and Marconi drove to the Hay market. Between the
acts a note came round asking them to go to Sir
Herbert's dressing-room, where they had a most
interesting and witty talk, which was interrupted
by a loud knocking at the door by the call-boy. Sir
Herbert turned to Marconi with his familiar gesture.
" Tell me," he said, " what is the play ? "
" ' Richard III,' " replied Marconi.
" Ah, thank you, thank you," said Sir Herbert,
as he made his farewells.
H. H. had a great many friends among dramatists
and musicians. Sir Arthur Sullivan, who was dining
with him one night, amused the company by de-
scribing a recent tour through America where one
town turned out en jtte to welcome him. The streets
were decorated and he was met by a band. He felt
extremely flattered at receiving such a welcome in
the Wild West, until he learnt that he had been mis-
taken for Sullivan the prize-fighter, " the Sullivan "
as the local editor put it.
In those days it was a popular saying that Sir
Arthur Sullivan could never remember the numbers
of his friends' town residences but always told the
cabman : "I don't know the number but the door-
knocker is B flat."
Colonial Governors were frequently among H. H.'s
guests at the House of Commons, and he enjoyed
nothing more than listening to the news they brought
of the political and industrial progress of our far-
One night the late Duke of Argyll, ex-Governor
of Canada, and Lord Ranfurly, ex-Governor of New
AS A HOST in
Zealand, were among a small party, and as was perhaps
not remarkable under the circumstances the talk
turned on the preponderance of people of Scotch descent
in those two colonies and the number of high offices
held by Scotchmen.
" I yield to no one," said H. H., " in my respect
to Scotland, but I have felt compelled to join the Royal
Society of St George of England in order to protect
our own interests. In this House of Commons we
have Scotchmen as Prime Minister (Campbell Banner-
man) ; Leader of the Opposition (Balfour) ; First Lord
of the Admiralty (Tweedmouth) ; First War Lord
(Haldane) ; and President of the Board of Education
(M'Kenna). All the leading bankers are Scotchmen,
and most of the great ship-owners."
The Duke of Argyll as a great Imperialist had
given his continuous support to the agitation for
Imperial Penny Postage ever since 1887, when he
wrote : "I hope you will hammer away at the project,
and I believe you will find it ultimately adopted."
When, in 1905, H. H. again approached the Duke
on the subject of Universal Penny Postage the project
did not enlist his sympathy, and he replied :
MY DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
No. I don't want to kiss all the world.
The Empire is enough for me in the matter of
Poets, painters, and novelists were all made welcome
at H. H.'s hospitable table ; in fact, anyone of dis-
tinction in any walk of life was sure to be met there
H2 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
sooner or later. His dinner-parties at the House of
Commons were always rather informal affairs, and his
table had a way of expanding in a telescopic fashion
as the dinner proceeded.
Young hostesses given to panic by the non-
appearance of expected, or appearance of non-ex-
pected guests, might well learn a lesson from Lady
H. H.'s undisturbed serenity when met in the Lobby
with the information that " the Chinese Minister is
coming, and an Arctic explorer, and the Postmaster-
General said he would come if he could, and also some
friends whose names I cannot recall at the moment ! "
It was never H. H.'s way to make elaborate plans
for the right people being asked to meet each other,
but such was the force of his genial personality that
the most incongruous company would meet together
and exchange views with the greatest cordiality.
Mr Justin M'Carthy's reply to an invitation
given in 1910 :
MY DEAR, DEAR OLD FRIEND, HENNIKER HEATON,
I could not tell you how much I feel touched
by your most kind invitation and how much sincere
regret it gives me that I am not able to accept it.
You will already have heard from my daughter the
full explanations of the reasons why I cannot even
think of becoming a guest at your proposed dinner
in the House of Commons. There is no entertainment
I should enjoy more than a House of Commons dinner,
and there is no man living from whom I should welcome
such a kindness more cordially than from yourself.
But Charlotte has told you that I have for many
years lived as one absolutely withdrawn from social
as well as 'from public life, and although I am getting
on very well in my course of improvement, I have
yet some dreary path of self-protection to plod along
AS A HOST 113
before I can hope to be a live man among the living.
But I strongly hope that we shall meet again many
times in this life, dear old friend and true friend,
and interchange genial memories and consequences.
Ever, my dear Henniker Heaton,
Your old friend and comrade,
It was always a pleasure when the late Mr Moberly
Bell manager of " The Times " could be persuaded
to join H. H.'s parties. His massive head with the
penetrating kindly eyes gave him an appearance
which did not belie the great intellect, courageous
and just, that governed " The Times " for so many years.
When released from the cares of office, his humour
and gentle irony made him the most popular of
guests. He arrived late for dinner at the House one
night, having been sitting on the Commission for
amending the Divorce Laws. In the middle of the
proceedings it seemed that Lady Frances Balfour
had handed him a sheaf of papers saying :
" Please take care of these for me, I haven't a
" What ! " exclaimed Moberly Bell in a loud
voice. " You haven't a pocket and you want a vote
God bless my soul ! "
H. H. spoke of his interest in the Divorce Com-
mission, as some years previously he had caused to
be issued a Parliamentary paper giving the laws of
Marriage and Divorce in all countries of the world.
The paper showed that the cheapest country in which
to get married was Belgium (2^d.), and the easiest
place in which to get a divorce was Japan, where a
husband could obtain his freedom if his wife talked
too much. This came as rather a surprise, as it was
H4 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
generally thought the United States made the marriage
laws the least binding. Wilfrid Meynell summed this
up best in his oft-quoted lines :
THE UNITED STATES 1
" It really is a little odd
If marriage has been sent by God
Above our human Fates,
To see Divorces all the same
In that great Continent whose name
Affirms United States.
America, dear Continent,
If continent you be,
Why let a knot that's tied in heaven
Be loosed in Tennessee ?
Be careful lest in mock you're given
The title of ' the Free.' "
If H. H. enjoyed telling a good story himself, he
was not less appreciative of anyone else's, and his hearty
infectious laugh was the best tribute. It was some-
times rather amusing to see the twinkle in his eyes
when he listened to a friend " fathering " some little
Hardly a day passed without his being sought
out by some unknown visitor from foreign shores
anxious for introductions or some such help, and it is
not too much to say that H. H. never in his life turned
a deaf ear to any appeal if it was in his power to help
in any way. " For many years it has been my settled
conviction that Sir John was the most consistently
kind-hearted man I ever met in my life. I have met
many benevolent people in my life," wrote Mr Snead-
Cox, " but never anyone who was so ready as he was
to take personal trouble to do a kindness to others."
1 From " Verses and Reverses," published by Herbert & Daniel.
AS A HOST 115
One day many years ago, when H. H. was in the
Carlton Club, he was told a strange-looking man was
asking for him on important business. He went
down to the hall and was told a truly surprising tale
of adventure by the stranger, whose name happened
to be Louis de Rougemont. H. H. immediately sat
down and scribbled the following note to Sir George
MY DEAR NEWNES,
I am sending you the most interesting man
in the world or the biggest liar in the universe in
either case he will be equally useful to you.
Two hours later back came an answer from Sir
George Newnes :
DEAR H. H.,
You have sent us an angel unawares.
The subsequent history of the Angel unawares
is too well known to be rewritten.
Perhaps H. H. realized more fully than anyone
how much heart-burning is caused by the neglect of
English people to return the hospitality they have
received so generously when travelling abroad and in
the Colonies. This neglect is more often due to want
of thought than deliberate intention. So many people
imagine that some one else is sure to be looking after
the visitors and they need not concern themselves on
their behalf, but H. H. would take personal trouble
to make their visit as enjoyable as possible, not only
by asking interesting people to meet them but by
Ii6 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
doing his best to make sure that their services to the
Empire were recognized in the right quarters. No
one was more generous than himself in the appreciation
of the work done by others, in distant unknown parts
of the Empire nor more alive to the fact of how easily
these services are forgotten in the rush of London life.
I.ADY HENNIKER HEATON
CHOUGH of necessity a great deal away
from home, H. H. was devoted to his wife
and children. He very much enjoyed
home gatherings, and always took the
keenest interest in the sayings and doings of each
member of his family. The love that existed between
H. H. and his wife, and his tender care of her during
many years of delicate health, was very touching to
witness. Theirs was literally a married life that
had never known a shadow of a shade of discord as
far as their mutual relations were concerned.
H. H. was always a sympathetic listener to what-
ever his children had to tell him, and those who knew
him only as an impatient critic and antagonist would
marvel to see the patience he brought to bear in
listening to some childish recital of adventure. In
later years, when his own family grew up, he
transferred some of his affection to his small grand-
children. It was rather a charming picture to see
the Postal Reformer, with his arms folded on the
table, listening attentively to a small and incoherent
grandson struggling with a " funny story."
" By Jove, old man, you astound me ! '* would
be H. H.'s comment, when the little lad with bursts
of glee had reached the climax of his old, old " funny
H. H., who had a remarkable memory in many
n8 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
ways, was never able to distinguish one flower from
another. As a general rule, he used the generic term
" roses " for anything that was brightly coloured.
The nursery-party were considerably enlivened one
day by the receipt of a picture postcard of some hand-
painted flowers. " My dear little Lily, I send you this
card to remind you of your pretty namesakes." The
flowers were violets !
H. H. was a great raconteur, even in his own home
circle, and he took as much trouble to make a dinner-
table story amusing when his wife and children only
were present as he did when entertaining a party of
celebrities. His Sunday luncheon-parties in Eaton
Square were always very joyous and interesting
gatherings. He knew well how to draw the best out
of every one, and his enthusiasm for his guests' attain-
ments was always sincere. Their bons mots were
sure to draw forth the flattering tribute of that hearty
laugh, which was always one of his greatest charms.
How heartily H. H. detested all want of generosity
in speech and feeling ! The grudging praise, the be-
littling of achievements, the want of enthusiasm that
froze all genial intercourse, would kindle the light of
indignation in his eyes.
The condemnation of R. L. S. for such as
"... moved among their race,
And wore no glorious morning face "
would never have fallen on H. H., who loved the simple
pleasures of everyday life. As the years grew upon
him, never once was he heard to regret the past as
superior to the present. For him To-day was the
age of miracles and, if he expressed any regret, it
was that he would not live to see the coming glories
AT HOME 119
H. H.'s method of working was the despair of
many a secretary. Tidiness he abhorred, and was
never happy until every chair in his library was piled
high with books, the floor scattered with paper and
his writing table a chaotic mass of literature. Sand-
wiched between postal complaints and parliamentary
Blue books would be found various ill-spelt little
letters written in childish scrawls beginning, " I have
brok mine horse," which H. H. could not be induced
either to destroy or to keep in a more suitable place.
Serious young men who require the stillness and
silence of locked doors when they set to work on
some intricate problem would be surprised at the
methods of the Postal reformer in his home. He
would go to his library after dinner to write, let us
say, an article for " The Nineteenth Century." Passing
the drawing-room he would listen to the music for a
few moments, and with a special request, " Please
leave the doors wide open so that I may hear the
singing," he would begin his assault on the blundering
and plundering of the post office.
H. H. was fortunate in attaching to himself, as
well loved friend and secretary, Edward Cant Wall
a man of scholarly attainments and high character.
Between H. H. and Edward Wall existed the most
complete confidence and a depth of affection rarely
found. Had H. H. lived to fulfil his intention of
writing his memoirs, he would have included a high
tribute to Mr Wall in grateful memory of his loyal
support and valued services.
Four sons and two daughters composed H. H.'s
family. His eldest son, John the present holder
of the baronetcy married the Honble. Sermonda
Burrell, daughter of Lord Gwydyr. At the time of
the marriage, Sermonda Burrell had two grandfathers
living, the fourth Lord Gwydyr, who reached the age
of 99, and Sir John Banks, the Queen's Physician in
Ireland, who lived to be 98. Lord Gwydyr was born
in 1810, and was present at the Coronation of George
IV, when he saw the Hereditary Champion of England
ride into Westminster Hall in armour and throw
down his glove this was the last time it was done.
He was also present at the Coronation of William
IV and Victoria, and was for thirty years Secretary
to his uncle, Lord Willoughby d'Eresby, the Here-
ditary Lord Great Chamberlain, and lived with him
in the House of Lords. Although not present at the
Coronation of Edward VII, Lord Gwydyr received
a telegram of 100 words, answer prepaid, to know
what was done in the robing-room at the last state
opening of Parliament by Queen Victoria.
H. H.'s second son, Reginald, Commander R.N.
married Mary, daughter of the late Colonel Houstoun
of Clerkington. Herbert, Assistant Colonial Secretary
of Mauritus, married Phcebe, daughter of the late
Lindsay Talbot-Crosbie of Ardfert Abbey, Co. Kerry.
Arthur, Lt. -Commander R.N., married Vera, daughter
of the late Hamilton Atherley. His elder daughter,
Elizabeth Ann, married Algernon Paget, son of Berke-
ley Paget ; and his younger daughter, Rose, married
Major Adrian Porter, King's Messenger, son of Colonel
Occasionally, on Sunday evenings a family party
would gather in the library, and H. H., while energeti-
cally striving to keep pace with his ever-growing cor-
respondence, would keep his sons and daughters
amused with extracts from the various letters he kept
pulling out of his pockets. Sometimes an important
AT HOME 121
paper would be missing, and then every one would be
on their knees for an hour, emptying dispatch boxes,
going through drawers, and generally looking in every
likely and unlikely spot for the lost document.
In spite of H. H.'s vigorous efforts to answer im-
mediately every letter, one would sometimes get over-
looked. A reproachful reminder in poetic form made
one more example of those " cradled into poetry by
wrong " of whom Shelley sang :
" Our Henniker above all others seeks
To make our Postal Correspondence better,
And is it He who takes four mortal weeks
To answer one short simple urgent letter ? "
H. H. was very fond of poetry of all kinds, and
loved to hear it read aloud if the reader had a sym-
pathetic voice and good intonation. Talking of the
voice, he always said that the late Canon Fleming
was the best elocutionist in England, and he very
much enjoyed hearing him preach at St Michael's,
Chester Square. H. H. once found himself seated
next to Canon Fleming at a big city dinner. The
Canon had just pronounced grace in his low clear,
musical voice, and had settled himself comfortably
down to his turtle soup when a stray remark of H. H.'s
caused him to spring from his seat, exclaiming, " Good
gracious, I'm at the wrong dinner then ! " and off
he flew, followed by chuckles of amusement from
Sometimes on fine spring mornings, H. H. would
leave his library early, and invite his daughters to
122 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
come out with him and see some of the newest ex-
hibitions of pictures in London : H. H did not often
buy pictures, as his great hobby lay in collecting
valuable old books. He possessed some extremely
rare editions among the three thousand books in his
library in Eaton Square. His Australian books were
most interesting, and those which dealt with nature
especially so, as many of them contained life-size
illustrations of birds and flowers of the Antipodes.
H. H. was always delighted to take his daughters
to any interesting social function, and in his popular
company they could scarcely fail to enjoy themselves.
Since no picture of contemporary social life is com-
plete without an anecdote of the brilliant American
ambassador, Mr Joseph Choate, a somewhat unsatis-
factory little story may be forgiven. At the Royal
Garden party His Excellency, after chatting with
H. H., turned to his daughters and paid them the
prettiest compliment that has perhaps ever been
paid to debutantes. The elder girl turned to her
sister and said, " We will never forget that as long as
we live " but from that moment to this neither of
them has ever been able to recall what Mr Choate said !
It is but a melancholy satisfaction for them to
feel that they were once the recipients of a yet more
exquisite compliment than Sheridan's famous speech
to a charming young lady : ' Will you come into
my garden, I would like my roses to see you."
For the greater part of his life H. H. enjoyed the
best of health, but his ceaseless activity imposed too
heavy a strain upon his constitution, and in 1911 he
had a serious breakdown. A stroke of paralysis, due
to overwork, gave cause for the gravest anxiety. Sir
Lauder Brunton was called in, and gave warning that
AT HOME 123
serious results would occur unless all work were put
on one side for some months ; with reasonable care
and freedom from worry H. H.'s life might be pro-
longed for many years, but he would not be able to
stand undue excitement or strain. A verdict that
future events were to prove only too true. The long
weeks of convalescence were very trying to H. H., in
spite of the kindness of friends who did everything
possible to cheer him. The word " Postage " was
forbidden, and only light literature was allowed. His
chief delight was in a number of books by Pett Ridge
sent to him by a thoughtful friend which he ever
afterwards declared the best medicine for a sick man.
Like many others, H. H. found compensation in
the midst of his trials. Every day brought some
token of kindness or remembrance. Old friends from
the Carlton Club came to amuse him with good stories,
and the latest gossip. Messages and wishes for a
speedy recovery reached Lady Henniker Heaton from
both sides of the House of Commons, and " please say
to him a number of our Members from Ireland join
in this wish " wrote William Redmond.
A telegram from Sir Thomas Lipton offering H. H.
a voyage in the " Shamrock " to recuperate was
reluctantly declined, as involving too great a re-
sponsiblity for his host, though the kindness was
As the weather grew warmer H. H. was able to
spend most of the day sitting under the trees in Eaton
Square, and here by good fortune he found two little
friends who beguiled the long hours as only children
can do. Mercy and Mary Webbe, daughters of the
famous cricketer, A. J. Webbe, were the centre of a party
of children who met in the Square every morning and
124 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
afternoon. Mercy was the first to make friends with
H. H., her gentle sympathetic nature touched by any
suffering. She would talk to him in her wise, gentle
way for hours, and her clever, poetical thoughts were
a constant source of marvel and delight to H. H.
Shortly afterwards Mercy went down to the
country, and her little sister Mary came upon the
scene. Mary at this time was about seven years old ;
a little flying figure, in a blue cotton frock under an
enormous mushroom hat, sunburnt little face and
hands, and the cleverest, wittiest, most mischievous
and adorable little mite that ever came out of a fairy
tale. She had a band of faithful followers, nearly
all older and bigger than herself, whom she ruled with
a rod of iron. Mary chose the game and Mary chose
the part she would play and Mary awarded all the
prizes and punishments. A born leader, she instantly
recognized a kindred spirit in H. H. and they became
H. H. had been ordered complete rest and quiet,
but Mary cared for none of these things. When he
appeared in the Square, she would fling herself upon
him like a small whirlwind, shout down his ear, and
seizing his walking stick for he was still very lame-
dance away with it to the other end of the Square
looking like an imp of mischief. She had a most
astonishing vocabulary for her years, and would send
H. H. off into roars of laughter by her quaint phrase-
ology. " I would tell you and welcome, but you are
not to be trusted," she would reprove him when he
begged to be allowed to share her confidence. She
was a little lady who fully realized her own worth.
" Good-bye," she said one evening, throwing her arms
round H. H. ; " you won't see me again, as I'm going
AT HOME 125
away to-morrow." Then seeing his look of blank
consternation she hopped round him in glee, crooking
a tiny forefinger at him and crying, " I only said it to
take you in I only said it to take you in."
H. H.'s affection for his little friend inspired some
rather charming verses :
AN IDYLL OF EATON SQUARE.
Come into the Square, Marie,
Come into the garden, do,
For sadly your ex-M.P.
Has gazed at the gate for you.
For under a branching tree,
He sits on a hard green chair,
And turns for a small Marie,
Whenever two footsteps stir.
Whenever a shrill young voice
Through railing and bush vibrates;
His look leaps up to rejoice
To watch where a blue skirt waits.
With mischievous eyes agleam,
And very brown hands outheld;
A laugh peels sharp as a scream
And peace from the day's dispelled.
You were missing this morning, Marie !
Alone on the lawn, at loss,
Your neighbour, from under a tree,
Hied homeward to thirty and three,
Disheartened and cross.
A PEN PORTRAIT
IN painting a portrait, two thoughts are upper-
most : first, that the picture shall be as entirely
truthful as even Cromwell himself could desire ;
and, secondly, that the mise en scene should
express without overshadowing the subject. Annual
visits to the Academy show certain learned gentlemen
with a hand laid affectionately upon a globe, if the
sitter is a traveller, or toying with a magnifying glass,
if he is a professor of science. Any painter can thus
portray the objects in which his sitter is primarily
interested, but it takes a Sargent to dispense with
such accessories and yet leave the impress of the
man's mind shining through his eyes, and breathing
his spirit through each stroke of the brush.
It has been my endeavour to show H. H. not only
as a Postal Reformer, but in all the phases of every-
day life, and yet I am acutely conscious that his
character, his inmost thoughts, remain but vaguely
expressed. Perhaps his very simplicity and trans-
parency make the task more difficult than if one were
analysing a profoundly complex character.
For one who had travelled so extensively, and
seen so many sides of life, his judgment of men was
singularly uncritical. All his friends know the truth
of the assertion that to his kindly mind " every goose
was a swan," and having benefited so constantly and
A PEN PORTRAIT 127
so agreeably through this mistaken conviction I feel
peculiarly unfitted to criticize it.
Injuries were forgiven and forgotten with the
setting of the sun, and the perpetrator merely became
" that poor fellow," though less amiable members
of H. H.'s circle could doubtless have found more
suitable designations. Like all public men, H. H.
had his enemies ; but I think he had fewer than most.
Some wise man once wrote you cannot be too careful
in the choice of your enemies," but it is perhaps truer
to say he who never made an " enemy never made
His large charity went out in the words of Ian
Maclaren, whose books he dearly loved, " Be pitiful,
for we are all of us fighting a hard battle." Still it
must be recorded that there was one class of mind,
for which he had no mercy the obstructionist ic, and
of whose ultimate destination he, at least, had no
doubt. Sheer laziness, the generating factor of an
Obstructionist, can defeat and overthrow the best
laid schemes of the greatest genius. To an Obstruct-
ionist every philanthropic movement represents but
an extra signing of documents, every Arctic or Tropical
Exploration means only an extra search for a mislaid
compass, or an order for a stores catalogue. " They
have no imagination," H. H. would say, implying
utter and irrevocable condemnation. There was a
curious phrase he would frequently employ when
urging forward the Obstructionist faster along the
" Primrose path of dalliance." " Show a little public
spirit," was his formula, addressed indescriminately
to governing bodies, taxi-drivers, lift-boys, and lesser
fry who impede progress.
H. H. could differentiate between the individual
128 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
and the corporate Obstructionism the latter he held
in some respect as a necessary evil used to combat
hasty legislation. Ex-ministers and their secretaries
will appreciate the following letter written by H. H.
to Lord Blyth :
" . . . I am looking forward with great interest
to the result of your deputation to the Chancellor of
the Exchequer and Postmaster-General. I beg to
warn you against the stereotyped replies which you
and I have been met with during more than a quarter
of a century. Before the two great Cabinet Ministers
begin to reply you will no doubt anticipate them by
asking them not to put you off in the old and worn
out way :
1. / recognize the importance oj the deputation.
2. I fully sympathize with your objects.
3. Circumstances will not now permit.
4. We shall when the time arrives and opportunity
H. H. had to an extraordinary degree a personality
that might be described as magnetic. He realized
that in order to get any request granted it was
only necessary for him to see the person who was
required to do that particular thing. He had the
greatest faith in personal interviews and no faith at
all in the written word that probably gets no further
than an obstructionistic (once more !) secretary.
Literally, H. H. did not know the meaning of the
word "No," and he took it from no one. With his
mind centred on the achievement of some project,
he would listen to arguments with an intolerance and
impatience that belied his natural broad-mindedness.
Too good a mathematician to be convinced by an
array of figures, too keen an historian to learn from
A PEN PORTRAIT 129
past errors, 1 he held on his way regardless of every
argument and every prophecy of failure.
His enthusiasm was one of his most noticeable
traits, and his intense vitality showed itself nowhere
more clearly than in the energy he threw into mastering
whatever subject had aroused his interest. As a result,
he was continually consulted on matters outside postal
affairs by strangers who had heard of his wide
sympathies. A letter advocating a project for tree-
planting by school children would send him down to
Kent with every offer of assistance ; a note from a
scientist concerning an invention for testing the eye-
sight of mariners would evoke in reply : "I know
nothing about eyesight, but if you will breakfast with
me to-morrow and explain your invention I will take
you on to the Admiralty afterwards." The next
morning over eggs and bacon H. H. and his new friend
would discuss the subject " hammer and tongs " until
H. H. became not less enthusiastic than the inventor.
He was one of the first to be interested in an almost
uncanny invention by Sir Hiram Maxim for pre-
venting collisions at sea, and he and Marconi journeyed
down to see the instrument tested in its early stages.
Watching the meeting between the old Magician,
and the young Magician, H. H. congratulated himself
on living in the twentieth century, free from the
charge of conspiring with sorcerers and dealers in
Any question of an injustice immediately became
his to set right promotion deferred, or a pension
ungranted, became an all-absorbing matter until it
was settled in the only right way. The helping hand
1 The only thing we learn from history is that we never do learn anything
from history. HEGEL.
130 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
he extended to young men at the outset of their career
brought much happiness into his own life ; and one
likes to think of the kindness that prompted him to
give up a large deck cabin in a crowded ship in the
Red Sea because he had heard from the ship's doctor
that a poor lady was lying dangerously ill in an airless
cabin next to the heat and noise of the engine-room.
It was a simple act of common humanity, and yet
it had occurred to no one else on board to perform it.
It is not easy to write of the views H. H. held on
the deeper things of life. He did not often speak of
his ideas regarding religion, but one knew that the
simplest form of faith was his. He held an unquestion-
ing belief that God was an all-loving Father from whom
the worst of us will obtain a merciful hearing, and
in whose presence all misunderstandings will be cleared
up and all pettiness and wrong-thinking will fall away
as a garment.
" If I were a clergyman I would preach Charity,
Charity, Charity, every Sunday of my life until at
last people understood the meaning of the word,"
H. H. was sometimes heard to say. His favourite
hymn was " Lead, kindly light," and those glorious
words held for him the consolation of the whole world.
The epitome of his life's teaching might be expressed
in the lines of Kipling :
" Teach us the strength that cannot seek
By deed or thought to hurt the weak,
That under Thee we may possess
Man's strength to comfort man's distress.
Teach us delight in simple things
And mirth that has no bitter springs,
Forgiveness free of evil done
And love to all men 'neath the sun."
A CHAPTER BY T. P. O'CONNOR
ENNIKER HEATON was a remarkable
example of how a man can carve out for
himself his little niche in the world of
politics by sheer force of character, by
tenacity, and by a genial temper that disarms criticism
and wins ubiquitous friendship. He was not a speaker,
he was not a writer, and was not even much of a
politician, and yet he made a deep mark upon his
times, and effected more practical work than nine out
of ten of his contemporaries in the House of Commons,
and his death will cause far more regrets than that
of many a man who occupied a much higher place in
Starting life poor, but ambitious like so many
other energetic young children of the Old Land,
Henniker Heaton sought fortune in Australia. He
did not often speak of his early days, or of his
early struggles. Probably they had been so hard
that he didn't care to recall them, especially when
he basked in the sunshine of the complete prosperity
he enjoyed for the greater part of his life. But
now and then he would uplift the veil, and you
could hear stories, thrilling and amusing, of the shifts
to which a penniless young settler had to resort when
Australia and he were young.
132 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
It was in the early eighties that Henniker Heaton
returned definitely to the Old Country, by this time
a rich newspaper proprietor, at ease with fortune,
free to do and go as he pleased, and eager with the
desire to find distinction in the land from which a
few years before he had gone in search of fortune.
Entering the House of Commons as Conservative
member for Canterbury, he had not been there more
than a few weeks when he began to devote himself
to the subject which was to become the master passion
and almost sole purpose of his political life. By an
extraordinary instinct he could discover in the Post
Office service its weak points, and went for them with
unfailing aim. It was Henniker Heaton's strong will,
tenacity, patience, and indifference to the comfort
or the goodwill of successive Postmasters-General,
whether of his own or the other Party, which was the
driving force that lay behind his agitation and successful
His success was obtained, too, by ways and methods
which reveal a side of House of Commons' life not
realized by the outside public. He spoke but rarely
in the House, and then not with striking effect, and
yet he got his way. The first weapon was the per-
sistent and the perennial question to the Postmaster-
General. Almost every day, for almost every week,
in every session, Henniker Heaton would put on the
notice paper of the House of Commons two, three,
half a dozen questions with regard to small or large
A CHAPTER BY T. P. O'CONNOR 133
points of administration in the Post Office. There
was nothing too big there was nothing too small
for this insatiable inquirer. Sometimes it was a
suggestion of inter-Colonial policy of great magnitude,
but just as often it was a question as to why one city
with a double and lengthy name, say like Newcastle-
on-Tyne, was charged as an address as one word,
while some other city, like, say, Barrow-in-Furness,
was charged as two words. The Postmaster-General
of the period fretted and fumed under his pitiless
and insatiate shower of interrogatory especially in
the case of the late Mr Raikes, who, though a cour-
teous, was also an impatient Minister, and especially
was inclined to resent these pin-pricks from a man
of his own party. But Henniker Heaton was not a
man to be cowed, or frozen out, or exhausted, and he
went calmly on his way, with something of the stolid
steady movement of a genial elephant trampling merci-
lessly, but without malignity, on all small obstacles.
WAYS AND MEANS
This was one of Henniker Heaton's chief weapons.
He also waged an active war with his pen. When
he got on his favourite subject he could almost con-
vince you, as he certainly convinced himself, that
postal reform was the one panacea for most human
ills. A third and most powerful weapon in his hands
was the deputation to Ministers. He could get up
a|bigger, a more powerful, and a more representative
deputation than any other member of the House of
Commons. The peculiarity was, that the deputation
was the result far more of his personal influence than
of any strong feeling of agreement with his views.
134 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
He belonged to that rare order of men who seemed
to find it easy to get other human beings to do any-
thing they are asked.
Finally, the postal reformer was one of the great
unseen powers of the House of Commons, because
no man in it was so constant, so generous, and so
agreeable a host. There was scarcely a day when
he did not bring together, either in the House of
Commons or in some club, a big lunch or dinner-party.
His guests came from everywhere. An inveterate
globe-trotter, constantly passing between his home
in England and his business in Australia, never
satisfied until he met and entertained every man in
the world worth knowing, insatiate in his interest in
human beings, he could bring together more remarkable
men, and from more diverse parts of the world, than
almost any other man who ever sat in Parliament.
It was a Continental statesman one day, the next
it was a Minister from Australia, the next from Canada,
and then perhaps a great Governor of some outlying
region of the Empire. At his table there was no
distinction of party : Liberals, Tories, Irish Orangemen,
Irish Nationalists, all were welcome, and all felt
equally at home. It was at a feast of this kind that
you saw Henniker Heaton at his best. He said little
himself, being more anxious about his guests enjoying
themselves, and bringing out what was in them.
The chief contribution he made was a hearty, infectious
laugh, deep-noted and resonant, that became so
familiar as to be almost historic in the dining-rooms
of the House of Commons.
A CHAPTER BY T. P. O'CONNOR 135
He was a great clubman. He was not only one
of the early founders, but also one of the most prom-
inent figures in the Bath Club. He had strange fads
about health, and one of them was a faith in the efficacy
of the Turkish bath, and for years he might be found
almost every morning, in the hottest room of the
Turkish bath in the Bath Club, following this up with
a swim in its spacious tank. He also visited the
Continent freely. In the winter he might be seen,
tall, eager, ingenuous, perspiring at the tables in
Monte Carlo, now and then shaking the building
with that loud, resounding laugh which was so familiar
to his friends. For more than a quarter of a century
he went regularly every year to Carlsbad, and to every
one of his friends he preached the gospel that the
waters of that well-known resort were the end of all
Sir Henniker Heaton did not effect in postal reform
all he desired ; but one great reform he did accomplish
which entitles him to grateful and long-enduring
memory. To him more than to any other human
being is due the penny postal service between England
and America one, doubtless, of the many causes
that have brought the peoples closer together. He
was equally eager it was his last great campaign to
cheapen the cable service between them, and between
all parts of the Empire. He might apparently have
remained Member for Canterbury for his life, but
there came a split in the party, and his once splendid
robustness was shaken, and he resolved to resign.
His friends remonstrated, and there was almost a
universal groan at the possibility of a figure so familiar
136 SIR JOHN HENN1KER HEATON
and so popular being removed. But he persisted :
said he was at peace with all men and quite happy.
So one day he was seen standing at the Speaker's
chair as the last Parliament was about to dissolve,
with wistful eyes, taking his final look at the place of
which he had been an essential part for more than
" Practical and steadfast in purpose ; trusted in all the relations of life,
and who by persistent effort has done more than most men for ensuring the
unity of the Empire. I am proud to have the privilege of Sir John Henniker
Heaton's friendship." LORD STRATHCONA,
High Commissioner for Canada.
IN looking back on the circle of friends that H. H.
gathered around him, it is almost startling to
find the number of great Irishmen included in
it. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, Lord Russell of
Killowen, Sir John Pope Hennessy, Lord Rosmead,
Lord Killanin, John and William Redmond, Robert
Martin (Ballyhooley) and T. P. O'Connor, were all
among those in whose society and brilliance he de-
It is an unfortunate fact for biographers that
the greater the friendship, and as a consequence the
more frequent the intercourse, the fewer are the letters,
other than brief notes exchanged.
Old members of the Carlton may feel that more
should have been written of H. H.'s connection with
the club, where his chief interests centred and where
he was so familiar a figure. He knew the traditions
and the history that was made and unmade within
its walls, and he was never happy for long away from
The friendship existing between H. H. and Lord
Blyth was of that enduring quality made firmer by
138 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
time and dearer by recollection of hard-fought battles.
They were associated in nearly every movement for
cheapening postage and telegraph rates. A very
frequent exchange of letters was kept up, and by the
courtesy of Lord Blyth I am able to produce one or
two. The following was written from the Sackville
Hotel, Bexhill-on-Sea :
MY DEAR LORD BLYTH,
Very pleased I am to get your long and genial
letter. I think I told you of my doings since leaving
you and my beloved Carlsbad. You may depend
upon it there is no more kind or restful place in Europe ;
but it is difficult to follow the ideal life, feeding the
birds under the trees, taking breakfast there, and
attending the beautiful concerts in the Post Ho} and
other places. You must try to rest more next year,
although my little wife says I ought to be the last
to preach on this subject of rest. I think I told you
of the splendid steamer from Bremen. Marconi and
his charming Irish girl-wife met me at the Wharf at
Southampton, and perfect happiness followed at
Eaglehurst. There were two beautiful Irish-Italian
children in care of an ideal nurse from Italy. I would
like Claude Rome's fine little boy to play with Marconi's
children, and to hear their unsurpassed baby Italian
You are a judge, and you like good letters. Well,
I received one from Lord Halsbury the other day,
very unique. Liberals may not consider him the
greatest living Englishman, but I would like you to
mention the name of one with more force of character,
more manly, or more sound in judgment, or whose
law is made to conform with justice and fairness.
Let me quote an amusing passage from Lord Halsbury's
letter to me on his birthday :
AMONG FRIENDS 139
ISLE OF WIGHT.
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
Nothing but the warmth of personal friendship
could excuse what the paper you sent to me represented
you to have said to the gentleman who reported your
views. I have been overwhelmed with the kindnesses
of my friends and feel myself somewhat in the position
of the litigant who did not recognize himself in the
description given of him by his Counsel, but when he
did he wept to know what a fine fellow he had been
and did not know it himself. Sincerely I most heartily
thank you, and believe me, I am deeply, etc.
The picture of the criminal weeping in the dock,
while his Counsel tells the jury what a noble fellow
he is, causes my family much amusement.
Your sincerely attached friend,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
From Bath on December 12, 1912 he wrote :
MY DEAR LORD BLYTH,
The Dinner was very successful and devoted
to Imperial affairs, wide-world postage, wire and
wireless. I did not realize how important the plumbers
are in this planet until I heard Sir Thomas Barlow
and Sir Vesey Strong. The new Lord Mayor spoke
vigorously and carried his audience by his undoubted
honesty and earnestness. The new High Commissioner
for New Zealand, Mr Mackenzie, who was Prime
Minister there for a long while (as successor to Sir
Joseph Ward) also spoke, telling us the story of his
introducing compulsory training in that new land
the Great Britain of the Southern Hemisphere. He
140 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
made a capital defence of his action in preparing his
people to defend their splendid homes in the new
country. I was very glad to get back here to rest,
and endeavour to make some progress with the arrang-
ing of my correspondence during the 30 years. I
am having the letters bound in volumes of fair size.
The best letter writer was Dean Lefroy. Sir William
Harcourt's letters, in a few of which he lets himself
go, are strikingly good. Lord Salisbury's letter de-
nouncing the meddling Methodist and Nonconformist
Ministers will create a row. He was guilty of " blazing
indiscretions," although it was not his fault when he
mistook you for Lord Roberts and told you State
secrets. It was a mistake to call a nation " Hotten-
tots." It is a wonder that no one has written the
life of Lord Salisbury or given a selection of his letters.
I shall never forget his frankness and manly attitude
when we discussed Home Rule for Ireland with Sir
Charles Gavan Duffy, and I had the first interview
with Lord Carnarvon in Dublin. We had another
historic interview. The Postmaster-General and his
officials were wavering when we were urging the
purchase of the Cables between England, France, and
Belgium. We won through Lord Salisbury taking a
part. It was on a parallel with the interview between
Whitelaw Reid, my old friend Lord Blyth of Blyth-
wood, and myself. In 25 letters from Lord Salisbury,
including the one when Raikes had a rebellion in the
Post Office and Salisbury told me that either Raikes
or Stevenson Blackwood would have to go (he meant
Raikes). The new trouble that oppresses me, and it
is a great one, is the propriety of letting the public see
these letters although all the men are dead. I hope
I am incapable of doing a wrong to anyone on this
earth. Never once have I been disloyal to my party,
never once voted against my party. Of course I
never was a keen politician, never attacked the Opposi-
tion, but worked for Empire.
AMONG FRIENDS 141
Excuse this egotistical letter in my sunset days,
I have no vanity, no desire for fame.
Affectionate regards to you all,
Your attached friend,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
A letter from Lord Blyth to H. H. in Australia,
dated September 25th, 1913 :
MY VERY DEAR H. H.,
After the way I have neglected you as regards
writing I am now half ashamed to communicate with
you again. I console myself with the thought that
a letter could not possibly have reached you before
your departure from Australia. . . .
Before Sir George Reid left for Australia and before
my departure for Carlsbad, I had the honour of being
one of a very distinguished party of 14 who dined
with Sir George at the United Service Club to meet
Mr Elihu Root, the well-known United States Senator,
where I met Lord Haldane, Lord Morley, and Mr
Bonar Law, next to whom I sat, and we had a most
convivial evening. You will no doubt have seen that
the Foundation Stone of the Australian Commonwealth
Building in the Strand was laid by King George.
Nothing could have been better arranged by Sir
George for the distinguished company that there
assembled. I met Lord Stamfordham at a dinner
at the Athenaeum Club a day or two afterwards when
he told me that the King was delighted at the splendid
way Sir George had managed matters, and really I
think he has shown himself quite a hero of this season,
and has done more than most men for the salvation of
the Empire. I hope we shall soon see him back again
here and that I may often meet him with you. . . .
I should tell you that under promise made some
time previously I went last week to Holker Hall in
Lancashire to stay with Lord Richard Cavendish,
142 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
for the entire dispersal of his celebrated herd of Short-
horn Cattle. You may remember that the late Duke
of Devonshire had sales from time to time, when the
prices realized were fabulous. At one of the sales
Sir Wilfrid Lawson gave 600 guineas for a bull, and
two or three days after it was found dead in its stall,
whereupon Sir Wilfrid took up a piece of chalk and
wrote on the wall :
' ' Here lies Oxford 6th placid and cool,
Bred by a Duke and bought by a fool."
I am afraid I shall bore you with this long letter,
if it ever reaches you, although there are many subjects
I should have touched upon if there had been time.
I look forward, however, to many opportunities
of having a chat with you when you return.
With my warmest regards to you, Lady Henniker
Heat on, your daughter, and indeed all your family.
I am, always,
Your most affectionate friend,
It might truly be said that H. H.'s circle of
acquaintances stretched from the Tropics to the
Arctic Ocean. We find H. M. Stanley writing to H. H.
in 1897 : " It is warm and uncomfortable in London
and I pant for fresh air." That Stanley of Africa
should find London too warm, is one of those
endearing touches that link him with his fellow-men
only less agreeably than the fact that even his gift
of locality was occasionally at fault.
" Brave Henry Stanley found a track
Through Afric's inmost Dark,
But lost his way (I heard him say)
In our St James's Park."
Mr Reginald Geard, the Honorary Secretary of
AMONG FRIENDS 143
the Savage Club, sends the following notes as to H. H.'s
association with that club :
" Sir John Henniker Heaton's Membership dating
back to the year 1885, he was among the oldest members,
and there was none more closely identified with the
home life of the Club. He -frequently lunched in
Adelphi Terrace, particularly on Saturdays, when
there was generally a gathering of familiar spirits who
exchanged the latest stories from Fleet Street and the
City with Sir John's chit-chat from the House of
Commons. After lunch he usually stayed on for a
game of Bridge to the end maintaining that straight
Bridge was better than all your Auctions. Sir John
always said that he went to the Savage Club for rest
and recreation and his fellow-members made a rule
that postal grievances and the Postmaster-General
should never be mentioned in his hearing.
" He would forget that such things existed in the
pleasure of hearing Odell give ' Harvest Home '
or Willie Nichols sing ' On the Road to Mandalay.'
Some brilliant lightning sketches done by ' Tom
Brown ' he carried away and had framed in his
library. The walls of the Club are decorated with a
picture of Sir John, Mostyn Pigott, and others playing
a round game, called Spelka, which had its genesis
in the Club and of which Sir John was an enthusiastic
" The Saturday night House dinners of the Savage
Club are world famous and year after year Sir John
was invited to take the chair. Among the memorable
occasions on which he presided, may be recalled the
dinner of 2ist February 1903 when the Club enter-
tained his great friend, Signor Marconi, when a special
menu was drawn by the well-known sea painter, Charles
" Another brilliant menu, preserved in the Club
archives, is from the brush of John Hassall, R.I., in
144 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
celebration of the Savage Club Empire Night dinner,
June 2oth, 1908. It depicts the Chairman, Mr J.
Henniker Heat on, M. P., as he then was, clad in flowing
toga and tooling a team of wild horses from a Chariot
that had left the earth for the Clouds. The Steeds'
collars bespoke them ' United States/ ' Canada,'
' Australia,' and ' Africa,' while the Chariot bore
the Legend ' One penny all the way ! ' A happy
recognition of the Chairman's life work for the
" It was on 29th June, 1912, that Sir John was
specially invited to be the guest of the Club at a house
dinner presided over by Mr Yeend King, V. P.R.I.,
when he was cordially congratulated in Savage style
on the Baronetcy which the King had just conferred
" When the end came, in September, 1914, a wreath,
' In Memoriam from his brother Savages,' was laid
upon the grave in Geneva by his old friend and fellow
Club man, Dr Turtle Pigott, while a deputation from
the Committee attended the Memorial Service at St
Margaret's in London."
Apart from his political life, H. H. chiefly enjoyed
what may be called his excursions into literary society.
The many Sunday afternoons spent by him, and his
wife, with Wilfrid and Alice Meynell were among
their dearest and happiest recollections. At Palace
Court House was gathered all that was choicest in
artistic and literary London. It is impossible to
describe the effect Mrs Meynell has upon her surround-
ings there is only a feeling that the chasm between
the material world and the spiritual world has been
In reply to my request for a few memories of H. H.
Mr Wilfrid Meynell writes :
IN THE CHAIR
H. H. AT THE SAVAGE CLUB
AMONG FRIENDS 145
" A little dinner-party in the Addison Road region
of London was my first introduction to John Henniker
Heat on, then freshly arrived from Australia. Our
host was Dr Rae, a hero of mine in my boyhood
when he went on his Arctic Expedition in search of
Franklin. He did not find the Explorer, but he found
the explorer's spoons, and I remember an old rumour
of dispute as to whom these relics really belonged to,
Dr Rae or the surviving relative of Sir John a
case in which law and feeling might indeed be sharply
sundered. Mrs Rae, in charm and character the
youngest woman who wore white hair, and her sister,
Miss Skefnngton Thompson, were ardent friends of
Irish Nationality, and my impression is that the man
from the Antipodes rather shared their sympathies.
" Gladstone had not then affixed the Liberal label
to Home Rule ; and I remember many Conservatives
who were favourable in those days to a cause from
which party loyalty later alienated them.
"As to Party ties, though it was part of Heaton's
loyalty of character to respect them, I do not think
that Party animus found any lodgment in his dis-
position. He had his friends among men of all
opinions ; and, associating ideas of practical service
with political life, after the manner of most Colonials,
he did not come to England wearing any party badge ;
and it was accident rather than design that gave him
his opportunity for National usefulness as Conservative
Member for Canterbury.
" My first meeting with him in that environment
led to a friendship broken only by Sir John Henniker
Heaton's death. In the busy life of London, diners-
out meet and like one another, and say they hope to
meet again, and then lapse into a nothingness that
is just kept in evidence by a casual nod across a
clubroom, or in the street.
" But there was something genial about Heaton
that put you at once on terms almost of intimacy.
146 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
For a man of independent opinions, very definite
ideas, rather strong personal prepossessions, and even
prejudices, he was amazingly amenable, and thus
while it was particularly pleasant to agree with him
one could disagree without a hint of disagreeableness.
Perhaps it was because he was very human. I use
the word with no patronizing concession of weakness
in it. Mother wit was his, of a masculinity denying
its name : and of a brand that had an agreeable
novelty because it was Colonial. I know a sensitive
speaker who says she found it easy to speak to an
American audience because it is in the air that they
actively want to like you, whereas in England you feel
that your hearers are at the best passive. In the case
of Heat on you felt he wanted to like you, and wanted
you to like him, a very simple process in consequence
it seemed. His outlook and yours might be totally
at variance in literature, and therefore ' in life
Temporal and Eternal/ and yet you felt for him
from the first a friendship which soon became an
" In a rather long life I never met anybody quite
so hospitable. A request to give any recollections of
him as Host and Guest brings home to me how often
he served in the first capacity, how rarely in the latter.
He seemed never to be really happy unless he was
entertaining. 1 This was an instinct with him he
must be the giver more blest than the receiver.
You cannot succeed in this capacity at random.
It takes you all your born days to be anything worth
having : and without the sincere effluence of con-
sistent habits love itself degenerates into politeness,
1 za GRANVILLE PLACE.
MY DEAR BARONET,
So our meeting must be in London and you are to fix the day and
the hour. The restaurant and the Host ! Be entertained for once you
who are always entertaining in two senses.
Your attached friend,
AMONG FRIENDS 147
politeness into sham. A little slip of printed matter,
carried in his pocket till it became threadbare, is
before me now : ' I shall pass through this world but
once ; any good thing that I can do or any kindness
that I can show to any human being let me do it now.
Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this
" Those who knew him will recognize in these words
his abiding rule in life.
"This genius for hospitality was not based merely
on considerateness for those with smaller means than
his own. I have seen men of ' Great possessions '
submit as readily as myself to the fascination of this
form of his friendliness. Below ' The Champagne
Standard ' of hospitality he was distressed when
far afield to fall, and the sparkle in his eye when success
crowned his efforts was more inviting than the sparkle
in the wine. His little courtesies like his larger
kindnesses were done with the tact that voided the
hard rule of an advantage to one being a disadvantage
to another. The little boy-scout who felt worried
after going to bed because he had done no kindness
that day, and who therefore got up and gave the
canary to the cat, has many a double among the
mature, but Heaton was not of their number. Royalty
would not have needed to send him the list of the
guests to be invited to meet it his own instinct would
have sufficed. Among the many memories of meetings
he brought about I recall particularly a breakfast
at the Bath Club with the Hon. John Wanamaker
as a fellow-guest. A Postmaster-General himself
in one of the administrations of the United States,
he talked indeed of posts, then of poets (he loved his
Riley) and then of pictures. It was a May morning,
the Academy was close at hand, whither we three
adjourned to compare impressions, to cavil and in
one case at least, to be conquered. For Sargent was
in his glory that season, and Sargent belonged to both
148 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
our countries, and I had to name a new land common
to us the Sargentine Republic.
"Teas on the Terrace and dinners at the House
remain as affectionate memories of those otherwise
rather frigid and formal precincts. In his own home
those amenities had their full flowering ; but of this
it must be the happiness of others to speak.
" A busy man, he had, of course, time for every-
thing he wanted to do generally a kindness to some
one. No one of my acquaintance would take more
trouble than he to serve a friend, or a friend's friend,
and it must have been a constant joy to him that
the great cause with which his name is associated
was one by which the sum total of the World's store
of kindness is likely to be increased. To be genial
and to be genuine by his double perogative he lives
in my memory as a man of men."
To this appreciative friend, H. H. wrote many
letters. The one here given makes light allusion to
a paragraph of banter (presumably Mr Meynell's in
" The Daily Chronicle " about H. H.'s friend, Thomas
Sidney Cooper, R.A., whose name and letters were
worked into an anagram :
THOMAS SIDNEY COOPER, R.A.
I CAN DO TOY SHEEP OR RAMS.
[Mr Meynell admits himself the quoter but not
the author of the anagram.]
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
iqth August 1910.
MY DEAR MEYNELL,
I am delighted to hear that you are in London.
When I am tired and want a refreshing chat I
walk over to the Pall Mall Club hoping to meet you,
but I am not often successful.
What colossal coolness ! I could not sleep after
AMONG FRIENDS 149
reading " The Daily Chronicle's " treatment of Thomas
Sidney Cooper. The boys throwing stones at the
poor frog was as nothing to it. It may be fun to you
readers, but it was death to the hopes of Sidney
After a decent interval had elapsed (to make the
public forget your cruelty) we happily received from
the King a note, I shall show you if you will lunch
with me on Saturday at i p.m. here.
And we can talk of other interesting events.
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
An interesting letter from Dr John Rae, giving an
account of his search for Sir John Franklin, was written
to H. H. in 1882 :
DEAR MR HEATON,
I would not venture to trouble you about the
now old story of poor Franklin's fate, had you not
referred to it in your note to my wife, accompanied
by the beautiful and interesting book you have sent
her. Before I returned from the Arctic in 1854 I
had the most clear assurance from the Eskimos that
a large number of white men, at least about 45, had
perished about four winters before, at a place on the
Mainland of America, which was a long day's journey
with dogs and sledge from the mouth of a large river
where there were plenty of salmon, and that the
position was the side of river towards the setting
sun or the West. That the party when seen alive were
looking very thin, and made very short days journeys,
hauling one or two boats. That they were first seen
travelling southward, near the west shore of a large
island (Keicktak). The river and island were evidently
the Great Fish River of Back, and King William
Land, formerly thought to be a part of Boothia,
but which I proved to be insular in 1854.
150 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
There were 16 Officers of both ships, I obtained
and brought home with me articles, with crests,
initials or other marks, showing that they had be-
longed to 14 of those 16 Officers. There were among
these Sir J. Franklin's Cross of Knighthood (which
a woman wore round her neck as an ornament) and
a number of his spoons and forks.
On the very day of my arrival I went to the
Admiralty and saw the First Lord, Sir J. Graham,
who on hearing my story said, " Are you aware, Dr
Rae, that the Government have offered a reward of
10,000 for news of the fate of the missing Expedi-
tion ? ' I replied no. He then told me of it, and
said that he thought we were entitled to it and would
be standing in my own light if I didn't apply for it !
My Expedition was not a Government but a Hudson's
Bay Go's, one, fitted out wholly at their expense,
therefore my report was sent to the Company for and
forwarded by them to the Admiralty.
An immediate answer, dated 24th October 1834,
was addressed to the Secretary of the Hudson's Bay
Co., in which are the following words, " Their Lord-
ships request you will inform Dr Rae of their Lordships
high approval of the services of Dr Rae who has set
at rest the unfortunate fate of Sir John Franklin and
The award of 10,000 would have been granted
almost immediately, but Collinson was still in the
Arctic Seas and it was very reasonably thought that
he might possibly have a prior claim. This doubt
arose from the fact that the Admiralty had rather
prematurely paid a somewhat similar claim for finding
some lost Missionary people a short time before,
another claim soon after having been made.
An Expedition, meantime, was sent down to the
Back River to inquire further into the matter, and
look for the documents. Nothing of importance
came of it, as I believed and stated from the first
AMONG FRIENDS 151
that all documents had been destroyed. I mean
journals and books, because the natives told me,
that at least a dozen books with markings on them,
(not blank books) had been seen, and being of no use
to the Eskimos were thrown aside or given to the
children to play with and torn up.
No documents have ever been found except that
by M'Clintock in Spring 1859, which informs us that
the good Franklin died in 1847. All M'Clintock's other
information confirmed mine in a wonderful manner.
After Collinson's return with no news the reward
(10,000) was paid to me and fellows in spite of some
strong opposition from one or two quarters.
Excuse my troubling you with such a very long
letter on a very small and old subject.
And believe me,
Early in life, through the good offices of Sir Charles
Gavan Duffy, H. H. was given an introduction to
Carlyle and spent an unforgettable hour in the Chelsea
house. Carlyle spoke much of Australia and asked
repeatedly about the youth of Australia : what were
the young men doing what were they reading ?
Did they work ? H. H. could quote an Australian
friend, who had heard from Carlyle's own lips, " Life
only begins with self-renunciation." When H. H.
rose to leave, Carlyle shook his hand with an approv-
ing, " I am told you are a young man who is going
to do some great work."
" Henniker Heaton, what a name for a novel,"
cried Anthony Hope, meeting H. H. for the first time.
Unfortunately, Rudyard Kipling's promise of
some verses was never fulfilled. On December I7th,
1900, he wrote from The Elms, Rottingdean :
152 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
I've been watching your fight with an interested
eye from far off, and have seen you getting your own
way, inch by inch and foot by foot, with the notion
that some day I'd do a set of verses about it. But it's
more difficult (verses I mean) to do them than you
think. Give me time and perhaps I shall be able
to make something worthy of the new step. I can't
do things in a short time.
Sincerely and with congratulations,
For many years H. H. saw a great deal of W. T.
Stead, and sorrowed deeply over his tragic death in
the ill-fated " Titanic." Memory recalls a summer
day in June when W. T. Stead, David Murray, R.A.,
Archdeacon Sinclair, and H. H. travelled down to
Windsor together as fellow-guests of their mutual
friend Henry Arthur Jones, the dramatist. W. T.
Stead had the appearance of the Old Buccaneer :
broad-brimmed hat, white hair and beard, and blue
eyes of an unquenchable fire and vigour alternating
with the sudden dreamy look of one who saw visions.
He was in high spirits and his great laugh as he threw
back his head was the whole-hearted laugh of a true
H. H.'s friendship with Marconi was spread over
many years, and each fresh triumph of wireless was
watched with enthusiastic and affectionate wonder.
The greatest magician of the age, for whom no honour
can be sufficiently high, no reward adequate, counted
H. H. among his earliest friends. His favourite
advice to all young men was to secure happiness in
life by marrying an Irish girl, and it was with especial
pleasure that he heard of Marconi's approaching
AMONG FRIENDS 153
marriage with the Hon. Beatrice O'Brien, a daughter
of Lord Inchiquin.
90 PICCADILLY, W.,
28th Jan. 1905.
MY DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
Your kind letter of congratulation has given
me and my fiancee the very greatest pleasure.
To have true friends is one of the greatest joys of
life, and it is now many years that you have been a
true friend to me.
I am so glad you approve of my engagement and
hope you will soon meet my future wife.
If I could write as well as you do I would find more
and better words with which to express my thanks
to you and to Mrs Henniker Heaton for your very kind
letter and wishes.
Believe me always,
34 CHARLES STREET,
BERKELEY SQUARE, W.,
2ist Jan. 1906.
MY DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
I am so sorry I was away when you arrived
from Australia and missed having the pleasure of
sending you a wireless welcome. I followed the
contest at Canterbury, and held my breath, so to speak,
until the result was known. Now that you are in,
and safe, I write you my sincere congratulations.
I do hope I shall have the pleasure of meeting you
and yours soon again. My wife asks me to send you
What an awful time the U's have had, especially
the members of the late Government !
154 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Dean Lefroy of Norwich " the best letter writer "
was a friend to whom H. H. was deeply attached.
MY DEAR SIR HENNIKER,
Just one line not to congratulate you this
I'll not do, but to gratify my insignificant self by
addressing you by a higher title. You are the one
member of the Party to whom every living citizen in
the mother country, and millions of subjects over sea,
is not only indebted but indebted with every sunrise
and with every sunset, and the debt is cumulative,
permanent, and universal. I know you don't care
for such recognition, and I know that you have the
regard and affection of innumerable beneficiaries of
your Imperial policy, in all zones and in all civilizations.
Ever your attached friend,
Among H. H.'s letters, one of the most character-
istic is a note from the greatest of all Empire builders,
the Right Honourable Cecil Rhodes, written from the
Burlington Hotel, W. :
Thanks for welcome and use of Club.
I see you have got your Penny Postage through.
I must get my Railway through, and then we must
meet and celebrate joint work.
C. J. RHODES.
The most regular of H. H.'s oversea correspondents
was his great friend Sir Joseph Ward, Prime Minister
of New Zealand. The following letter was written on
the yth of May, 1909 :
MY DEAR HEATON,
Thank you so much for sending the posters to
me regarding our offer of support to the British Navy.
It is very gratifying to find that in the dear old
AMONG FRIENDS 155
land it is appreciated, and I am glad to tell you that
throughout N.Z. the Government's action has been
generally approved. I read with great interest all
you say in your letter of 26th March accompanying
I feel very happy at what we have done, as I feel
very strongly that duty to King and Country calls
for co-operation between the mother land and the
oversea dominions and so show the world that we are
deadly in earnest in our determination to stand to-
gether as one in reality, and I am sure myself that
there is in the matter of Naval Defence a new era
opening out for the British Empire.
The Conference that your Prime Minister has
announced is a most desirable move. The date it is
to be held will determine whether we can be represented.
We will be there if at all possible. I am writing
hurriedly to catch the mail, with all good wishes.
In reprinting a letter from the great Victorian
hero, Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley, it is perhaps
hardly necessary to speak of the high esteem and
admiration he felt for every branch of the Service of
which he was Commander-in-Chief. Those familiar
with his famous book, " The Story of a Soldier's Life,"
can never tire of reading the gallant and heroic deeds
told with the simple admiration of one fearless soldier
for another. To-day, when war is more than ever
a science, it is easy to understand the emphasis Lord
Wolseley, throughout his career, laid upon the necessity
of officers obtaining a scientific education, without
which the highest personal valour is insufficient to
ensure victory. On November ist, 1900, he wrote
from Beech Hill, Sheffield :
156 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
You asked me before I left this evening, how
I thought the officers of our Artillery compared with
those in other corps of the Army. I should not like
to draw any comparisons, but without being in any
way invidious I can point to the fact that our R.A.
officers receive a better military education at Woolwich
than is usually obtained by officers educated else-
where. I have always found them most anxious to
learn the higher subjects which constitute a sound
Amongst the ablest officers I have had on my
Staff, Generals Sir Henry Brackenbury and Sir
Frederick Maurice are Gunners, and I selected them
because I deemed them the best men for the work.
Believe me to be,
Very truly yours,
From war to peace is the natural transition and
therefore the next in order must be a letter from
Mr Carnegie more than all others was at one with
H. H. in his conviction that an easier communication
between nations could only lead to a closer union of
mankind all the world over ; and on September 20th,
1909, he wrote, from Skibo Castle, Dornoch,
MY DEAR MR HEATON,
I should be very proud indeed to co-operate
with you in the great cause of Peace, but unfortunately
it is impossible for me to be in London next week.
You do well to cultivate the journalists, for really
these people have more influence for good or bad,
and especially for peace or war, than any other class.
I agree with you that knowledge of other countries
AMONG FRIENDS 157
leads one to the truth, viz., that no nation desires
war, and that all that is needed is that the few govern-
ing, of each country, should confer freely. I think
that a few of the best men of each country, meeting in
conference, would agree that the time has come when
some of the leading nations should unite in intimating
to the world that they expect civilized nations to
settle their differences peaceably. They have only
to say the word and the power is theirs to banish war.
Delighted to know you are taking up the subject of
Cable Communications, for you have a way of getting
things done which is rare. I never address an envelope
to New York without receiving pleasure from putting
my hands upon an embossed Penny Stamp, which
takes the letter to London or New York
Always very truly yours,
SOME AUSTRALIAN MEMORIES
grandeur and splendour of Australian
scenery, the smell of the gum-trees and
the blue smoke wreathing upwards, the
deep gullies and far horizons held for H. H.
a romance and poetry that nothing else could ever
rival. He loved the days of blue and gold sunshine,
and above all the divine youth of the country and
her people. " Ce sont les jours de notre jeunesse qui
jont le beau temps."
Australia proved a kind stepmother to H. H. as
she has been to thousands upon thousands of young
Englishmen. That much abused relationship should
gain a newer meaning through the large-hearted
generosity of Australia's welcome to all her stepsons.
Much of the romance of Australian life has died
out with the coming of the railways and motor-cars.
When H. H. first arrived in Australia, bush-ranging
was in full swing, and, although he had no experience
of being " stuck up," he could well remember the
excitement caused by the exploits of Captain Thunder-
bolt that were then on every one's lips.
There was a story current of an encounter between
the notorious Captain Thunderbolt whose real name
was Frederick Ward and a German band in Goonoo
Goonoo gap. The German band pleaded so piteously
for their money that Thunderbolt promised that if
he should succeed in robbing the principal winner
SOME AUSTRALIAN MEMORIES 159
at the Tenterfield races, for whom he was on the
look-out, he would return it. This promise he faith-
fully kept, much to their astonishment, by sending
to them, to the post office at Warwick, the 20 he had
taken from them.
After such chivalrous conduct, it is pleasing to
learn that Captain Thunderbolt met a more picturesque
death than the majority of his confreres. This latter-
day Beau Brocade was killed in a desperate duel with
a brave young constable Alexander Walker in 1870.
Not less romantic were the stories of strangely-
won fortunes that were then common talk, as, for
instance, the richest copper mines in Australia being
sold for a bottle of rum.
The six years H. H. spent in compiling his " Austra-
lian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time " brought
him into contact with many of the oldest inhabitants,
and as a consequence his mind became stored with
curious facts and legends.
His retentive memory enabled him to enliven his
Australian reminiscences with the most curious col-
lection of tales culled from all sources. He records
somewhere in his book a remarkable series pf wrecks
suffered by the same people. The adventures of Jonah
pale into insignificance before this plain statement of
" The ' Mermaid,' colonial government cutter, left
Sydney for Raffles Bay, but on entering Torres Straits
she ran on shore and was lost, October, 1829. All
on board were saved upon a rock. In three days the
' Swiftsure,' Captain Johnson, which sailed from Tas-
mania, hove in sight, and took on board the captain
and crew of the ' Mermaid/ but in a few days she also
ran on shore and was wrecked. Two days afterwards
i6o SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
the ' Governor Ready,' also from Tasmania, April 2,
passing within sight, took the shipwrecked people
belonging to the ' Mermaid ' and ' Swiftsure ' on
board ; but was herself wrecked on May 18, but ail
the people were saved by taking refuge in the long-
boats. The ship ' Comet/ also from Tasmania, soon
afterwards took the whole of the collected crews of
the lost ships, ' Mermaid/ ' Swiftsure/ and ' Governor
Ready ' on board, but was herself wrecked ; all hands
were, however, saved. At last the ' Jupiter/ from
Tasmania, came in sight and, taking all on board,
steered for Port Raffles, at the entrance to which
harbour she ran on shore, and received so much
damage that it may be said she was also wrecked."
Alas, that tragedy after a certain point should
become merely ludicrous !
Although H. H. did not arrive in Australia until
1864, he was not too late to see something of the gold-
fever that possessed men's minds, and he heard many
tales of the first rush to the goldfields. As every one
knows, gold was discovered in Australia in 1851 by
Edward Hargreaves, a resident of New South Wales.
In a few days Sydney was in a ferment. Stockmen
and shepherds left their charges, workmen their
employment, shopkeepers their stores, doctors their
patients, and lawyers their clients, and poured along
the roads into the hills.
" One was a peer of ancient blood,
The lord of acres none.
One was a wrangler from the Cam,
In purse and name undone.
One could speak in the choicest Greek,
And one was a bishop's son ;
And they dug
And they dug
SOME AUSTRALIAN MEMORIES 161
Frequently, a nugget of gold that a man could
scarcely stagger under was found. It was a common
thing to serve out buckets of champagne, and to make
pipe lights of 5 notes. In 1856 Mr Cameron, a store-
keeper at the woolshed, New El Dorado, rode into
Beechworth, Victoria, on a horse called Castor, the
animal being shod with golden shoes. The weight
of each shoe was 7 oz. 4 dwt.
Many were the hopes raised and sunk in goldfield
speculations. A favourite story of H. H/s concerned
a large nugget that was sent to England and a company
floated which was called by some fantastic name.
After a long delay the shareholders, hearing nothing
further from Australia, cabled out, " When are you
going to begin crushing the gold ? " " Directly you
send us back our nugget," was the prompt reply.
Among H. H.'s papers was found an old Share
certificate of the famous " Big Diamond Syndicate."
The stone was found near, I believe, Wagga Wagga,
N.S.W., and was at first thought to be a wonderful
diamond of surpassing size. A small syndicate was
formed to have it tested and bitter was the disappoint-
ment when it turned out to be of no value.
BIG DIAMOND CERTIFICATE.
THIS is to certify that W. R. Hall is entitled to one
i/iooths interest in the Supposed Big Diamond
Subject to the arrangements made with Mr Town-
shend by Mr J. S. Butters.
JAS. S. BUTTERS.
There was nothing H. H. enjoyed more in later
years than meeting old friends and recalling adventures
of Australian days. The passage of time could not
obliterate from his memory the long hot days spent
in the saddle and the nights sitting round the camp
fire exchanging yarns and singing the favourite camp
chorus, " Rise up, William Riley."
It was a free, happy life, full of hard work and
adventure with such amenities as the occasional
" Grand Ball " the nearest township would provide.
H. H. could recall one such gathering, to which he
rode a two days' journey in order to be present. The
squatters and their wives drove in from miles around,
and all went well until the middle of the evening when
a tragedy occurred. One of the guests suddenly fell
dead in the ball-room. The evening broke up in
shocked silence and horror.
On the following day, which happened to be
Sunday, service was held at the largest station by
a clergyman who was making his annual visit through
the district. An unusually large congregation was
present owing to the painful impression created on
every one's mind by the shocking occurrence of the
night before. Taking as his text " In the midst of
life we are in death," the clergyman preached a
striking sermon, which moved the greater part of his
audience to tears.
The next morning, having heard that H. H. was
travelling in his direction, the clergyman proposed
that they should bear each other company. For
three weeks they rode together from station to station,
and to his alarm H. H. found he was compelled to listen
to the same sermon on each occasion. Naturally
his sense of pathos had by this time given way to sheer
impatience, and he told the clergyman frankly that
SOME AUSTRALIAN MEMORIES 163
he must either compose a new sermon or they must
Loath to discard the most affecting sermon he had
ever preached, the clergyman suggested that H. H.
should travel on a day ahead of him. This arrange-
ment was made in all good faith, and H. H. set off
alone ; but arriving at the next station, he could
not resist the temptation to tell his story, and as he
had an excellent memory he was able to repeat the
sermon word for word, showing the exact points at
which handkerchiefs were produced and where sobs
invariably broke out.
This story H. H. proceeded to repeat at each stage
of his journey, until a frantic telegram reached him
from his ill-treated friend : " Come back at once, or
cease ruining my meetings." The end of the story
was that H. H., after listening to the most vehement
reproaches, agreed to travel a day's journey behind
the clergyman who was thus able to preach his
famous sermon from one end of the district to the
H. H. had also many amusing experiences to relate
of his early days as a Jackeroo the Australian term
for " tender-foot," or young men new to station-life.
Young Englishmen fresh out from home have much
to learn, and meet with much abuse in the learning.
There is a convention that " in London you may do
anything you like except cheat at cards." Young
Englishmen are quick to learn that " in Australia
you may do anything you like except leave a gate
open." If we are to believe local tradition, many
an Englishman's bones lie bleaching in the sun because
they omitted to conform to this simple rule.
Having then learnt the law of the Gate, and ac-
164 SIR JOHN HENN1KER HEATON
quired some dexterity in " boiling a billy " and making
damper a mixture of flour and water baked in the
ashes of a camp-fire H. H. felt himself in a position
to entertain his friends on a somewhat more lavish
scale. He was at the time camping out with four
friends, and they resolved to commemorate Christmas
Day by giving a dinner-party.
The piece de resistance was a chicken which they
managed to procure at untold trouble from a great
distance. For weeks and weeks the chicken was fed,
and watched with the care usually devoted only to
prize birds at annual fairs. Far and wide, H. H.
and his friends let it be known that their dinner-
party was to include this exquisite morsel.
The day arrived, and H. H. elected to kill and cook
the bird himself. When the moment arrived, he
proudly carried in the billy containing the chicken
and lifted the cover. The next moment one of his
friends had seized the bird and with a volley of oaths
flung it at the head of H. H. The whole party rushed
into the open air and fell on H. H. in a body. Poor
H. H. ! he had flung the bird straight into the pot
after having plucked it, under the impression that no
other preparations were necessary before cooking a
chicken! That day they had cold mutton for their
Christmas dinner. Every housewife, from the Barcoo
to Sydney, smiled when she heard the story.
Years afterwards, when H. H. was a constant and
popular host in the House of Commons, he would
remember the fiasco of his first essay in entertaining
In early days H. H. came into contact with the
pleasant happy life led by the squatters, whose princely
hospitality was already a byword. He never forgot the
SOME AUSTRALIAN MEMORIES 165
kindness he received nor the encouragement and help
he met with from the owners of those vast territories.
Some of the old families have died out or gone Home,
but many still survive to maintain the traditions of
the old Australian days.
Among his oldest friends, he counted the Landales,
the Romes, and the MacArthurs of Camden Park,
whose family history may be said to be the history
of New South Wales. John MacArthur, the " Father
of New South Wales," was the first to introduce wool-
growing into Australia, the sheep being supplied from
the flocks of His Majesty's great-great-grandfather,
King George III, or " Farmer George " as his subjects
affectionately called him.
H. H. in partnership with a friend took up a sheep-
run " just the size of Kent," but did not succeed in
making a fortune in this venture. Later, when the
great rush for the tin mines was at its height, he put
his capital into some smelting works and once again
Fortune turned her back on him.
Nothing could daunt H. H., nothing could shake his
conviction that somehow, somewhere, sooner or later
he was bound to make his mark. Health was his,
and while health remained he would work with might
and main, urged on by a determination that repeated
failures were powerless to move.
" If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss
And lose and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss.
If you can force your heart and mind and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on while there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them Hold on."
166 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Realizing at length that his talents did not lie in
pastoral pursuits, H. H. left the bush for a journalistic
career at Parramatta. As reporter, sub-editor, and
editor, he gained considerable experience in various
branches of his profession, and there is no doubt
that had he confined his activities to journalism he
would still have succeeded in making a name. His
tastes and character led him to seek a permanent home
among the haunts of men rather than in the solitudes
of the bush. A certain gregariousness, a restlessness,
a love of emulation made him better suited for town
life. Never did he regret, nor could he forget his
experiences in the bush, but from thenceforth citizen-
life was to be his choice. From Parramatta he mi-
grated to Sydney where, as it has before been
mentioned, he was fortunate enough to be associated
with Mr Samuel Bennett, and as a result came into
contact with the leading men of the Colonies. Among
his early literary friends were Brunton Stephens,
poet and wit, and Rolf Boldrewood, famous as the
author of " Robbery under Arms."
It is sometimes interesting to trace the influences
that mould the mind and character of a young man.
The " Grand Old Man " of Australia, Sir Henry Parkes,
was one of those to whose teaching H. H. owed much
of his imperialism and his broad outlook. When H. H.
went to England a correspondence was kept up from
which the following letter, written from Sydney, in
1889, has been chosen :
MY DEAR MR HEATON,
I should be very ungrateful if I did not thank
you very warmly for the trouble you took to bring
the Western Australia proceedings before Mr Buckle.
SOME AUSTRALIAN MEMORIES 167
It was a thing well done on your part for the good of
Your account of matters and the relation of men
in the House of Commons is full of interest to one who
has had such limited means of seeing the inner life
of the great body to which you belong. I am, as you
know, a sincere admirer of Mr Gladstone : it takes
much to lead me to change in my hero-worship when
my faith is once formed. But I can admire strength
and devotion to duty, wherever I find those noble
qualities in public men. Mr Balfour is certainly making
a name for himself throughout the Empire.
Just now you will be noticing our new movement
for the union of the Colonies. In this country we have
all the best minds on our side, and I think the cause
is thoroughly popular.
I send you under separate cover a batch of papers
on the subject.
Apart from his imperial policy Sir Henry Parkes
is famous as the originator of that felicitous phrase
" the crimson thread of kinship." It is curious to
remember that Sir Henry was the chief opponent of
the now forgotten Bill to create a Colonial Hereditary
Peerage which was brought forward by the Legislative
Council of 1853, and met with almost universal
Perhaps the man who above all others guided
the political aspirations of H. H. was Sir Charles Gavan
Duffy, the famous Irishman. His extraordinary
personality, his picturesque speech, and his wide
reading had a powerful attraction for H. H.'s en-
thusiastic nature. Sir Charles had had a wonderful
career. Born in Ireland in 1816, he, in 1842, started
168 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
the newspaper the " Nation." With O'Connell and five
others he was tried for treason and sentenced to a fine
of 50 and nine months' imprisonment. After three
months in prison the sentence was annulled by appeal
to the House of Lords. He later represented New
Ross in the House of Commons, but resigning his
seat in 1855 he settled in Australia. At the banquet
given in his honour at Melbourne, he made use of his
oft-quoted phrase : "I am an Irish rebel to the back-
bone and spinal marrow." His friends in Victoria
presented him with a freehold estate in order to qualify
him for a seat in the Legislative Council, and what
was even more remarkable the diggers of Ballarat
pledged themselves to give him an ounce of gold
Many anecdotes were told of his various elections,
but the one he preferred was his meeting with a con-
stituent after he had been elected by a majority of
one. Grasping his hand Sir Charles said :
' Then yours was the vote that gained me the
" Bedad, it was two of thim," replied his enthu-
From Sir Charles, H. H. learnt much of his
sympathy with and admiration for Ireland, and
throughout many years Sir Charles was a valued
After making his home in England H. H. returned
to Sydney every few years, but latterly his visits
were inevitably saddened by the gaps made by death
among his old comrades. With the loss of Sir James
Graham, Sydney could never be the same for him,
though the kindness and hospitality of Sir Thomas
and Lady Hughes and others made his last visit as
SOME AUSTRALIAN MEMORIES 169
enjoyable as the companionship of well-loved friends
could make it. It was a very great pleasure though
" it makes me feel very old," he said to meet again,
as Governor of New South Wales, Sir Gerald Strick-
land, whose friendship stretched back to the days when
His Excellency was an undergraduate at Cambridge.
Throughout his life H. H. preserved a feeling of
gratitude to Australia, which found a reflection in the
warm welcome he gave to all Australians visiting
He had a passionate belief in the future of Australia
and the vigorous manhood that was inherent in her
sons. At this hour, when the heroic deeds of the
Australian contingent at the Dardanelles are thrilling
every English heart, it is interesting to quote a passage
from a speech H. H. made at Canterbury over twenty
years ago :
' There is no cause to apprehend that England
will ever be sullied by the foot of an invader, but
one of our earliest Australian poets has indicated
Australia as the refuge of Britannia, with her shattered
trident, in such a case.
" And, oh Britannia ! should'st them cease to ride
Despotic Empress of old Ocean's tide ;
Should thy tam'd Lion spent his former might
No longer roar, the terror of the fight ;
Should e'er arrive that dark, disastrous hour,
When bow'd by luxury, thou yield'st to power ;
When thou, no longer freest of the free,
To some proud victor bend'st the vanquished knee,
May all thy glories in another sphere
Relume, and shine more brightly still than here ;
May this thy last-born infant then arise
To glad thy heart, and greet thy parent eyes ;
And Australasia float, with flag unfurl'd,
A new Britannia in another world ! "
170 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
The poem is by William Charles Wentworth, and
was written in 1824 when the memory was still vivid
of the threatened Napoleonic invasion.
Who is to be the poet of Australia's devotion and
sacrifice to the Empire to-day ?
AS A POSTAL REFORMER
" In countless myriads to and fro
These fateful missives come and go.
Weaving like shuttles as they fly
The web of human destiny.
Letters of business, gossip, love :
An undistinguishable drove,
Until you break the seal and then
They make or mar the lives of men."
WE have it on the authority of Mr E. V.
Lucas that the first letter known to
history is that sent by King David,
conveying his request that Uriah the
Hittite might be set in the forefront of the battle.
It is a far cry from Judea to Mount Pleasant, and it
would need a more ingenious pen than mine to trace
the evolution of the modern post office from its Hebraic
origin. However, I give an interesting extract from
" Stuart Life and Manners " by P. F. W. Ryan : l
" In England the first post office was established in
1635. It was the official recognition of a system
which had been growing up for generations, a system
in which the common carrier was the first, the most
primitive link, a system in which he was long to con-
tinue an indispensable auxiliary. A horse-post and
foot-post were now, however, organized with the
object of providing regular and speedy means of
communication between all quarters of the kingdom.
1 Reprinted by courtesy of the Publishers, Messrs Methuen.
172 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
" The horse-post rode from stage to stage, changing
his steed at the appointed resting-places. As he
galloped along over the ill-cultivated and sparsely-
populated country-side, he from time to time waked
the echoes of the lonely wastes with a brave flourish
on his horn, warning the inhabitants of his coming.
Eagerly, far and wide, did they strain their ears to
catch that welcome blast, and, having heard it, from
grange and farmstead and hovel, moved by common
emotions, gentle and simple streamed to cross-roads
and wayside hostelry, hopeful that the courier would
not send them away with empty hands. When
communication was beset with so many difficulties
and dangers, months and even years sometimes elapsed
without tidings coming from the wanderer to those
he had left behind. Fond hopes that over and over
again had been disappointed revived as the postman's
horn rang over hill and dale, penetrating to the great
heart of the castle hall and to the cheerless hovel,
where sire or dame, or wife or sweetheart, cherished
the image of some dear one battling for fame at the
palisades, or for wealth on distant seas.
"The despatch of letters to-day is an automatic
affair. The machine is human, but it is a machine
none the less. But in the seventeenth century every
step exacted intelligence and resource. The postal
system depended, too, for its success upon the honesty
and goodwill and energy of an immense number of
people who were independent, almost entirely, of
anything in the nature of supervision. If one desired
to send a letter to some remote town in Yorkshire,
one went to Ludgate, then to the Bell Savage Inn close
by, and there entrusted it to the carrier for the county
in question. Or going to St John Street and there
entering the Rose and Crown, one found regular post
for that shire. The messenger from London would
not penetrate into by-ways. Each county had its
system of foot-posts, which linked the outlying dis-
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 173
tricts with its chief towns and with the great high
roads. The London courier, pressing on to his
terminus, was relieved of packets for remote regions
by the local postman, who in turn passed them from
hand to hand to their destination. In somewhat
similar fashion, though less regularly and smoothly,
letters intended for Wales or Scotland or Ireland
were carried over the long and tedious journey to
the hands for which they were laboriously indited.
Worcester and Chester were centres whence the Welsh
post started, while Berwick was the natural centre of
distribution for North Britain.
" The horse-post was a comparatively swift service,
and where packets of value were in question, more
to be depended on than the carrier or foot-post, if
the highwaymen did not cut short the journey."
In 1840 Rowland Hill established Inland Penny
Postage, the first great step that was to make the
British Post Office the finest in the world. At this
distance of time it is hard to realize what such an
innovation meant to the poorer classes, nor how much
it did to sweeten and brighten their lives. Sir Row-
land's scheme was opposed by critics prophesying a
loss of revenue, but he lived to see their arguments
Without detracting from the valuable work of
Elihu Burritt, it may be mentioned that he himself
explained that when he advocated Ocean Penny
Postage he meant in reality threepenny postage :
one penny for England, one penny for the ship, and one
penny for the land of destination.
The cause that led to H. H. first becoming inter-
ested in cheapening postal communication is almost
too well known to bear repetition. When quite a
174 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
young man, he was waiting in a village post office,
and there his notice was attracted by an old woman
in deep distress. She had just learnt that the postage
to Australia was sixpence, and was therefore unable
to post the letter she had written to her son. H. H.
paid the money for her, and many months later he
heard that the son had sent 5 to his mother, and had
begun to write home regularly.
Later on, when H. H. was living in the wilds of
the Australian Bush, he was able to appreciate the
advent of the English mail. He knew as other exiles
know the bitter disappointment of riding into the
township, perhaps thirty or forty miles distant, only
to find there was no letter from home. In those days
the heavy postage was a consideration for those in
England, and a consideration that frequently deprived
the emigrant of a letter. H. H. was fond of quoting
A. B. Patterson's verse descriptive of a Way-Back
postal service :
" Your letters and exchanges
Come by chance across the ranges,
Where a wiry young Australian
Leads a pack horse once a week.
And the good news grows by keeping,
And you're spared the pain of weeping
Over bad news when the Mail-man
Drops the letter in the creek."
It was in 1886, soon after he entered Parliament,
that H. H. moved a resolution in the House of Commons
inviting the Government to enter into negotiations
with other Governments with a view to the establish-
ment of a Universal System of Penny Postage. The
motion was opposed by the Government, on financial
grounds, and was defeated. The whole idea was
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 175
looked upon as that of a visionary and a dreamer.
The Hon. Member who seconded the resolution was
so carried away by his enthusiasm that he bashed
down the tall hat over the eyes of the Member sitting
below him an unfortunate occurrence that never fails
to evoke merriment from both sides of the House.
Such was the inauspicious opening of the campaign.
His resolution indeed was defeated, but not so H. H.
He began a crusade that was to last the remainder of
his life. He travelled all over the world preaching
Penny Postage, in season and out of season, and
leaving no stone unturned that might directly or in-
directly further his object.
In this brief summary, I despair of giving any
adequate description of the persistent warfare waged
against red-tape and officialdom. Only those in H. H/s
immediate circle could know the bitter hostility and
ridicule he met with in quarters from which he might
reasonably have expected support. Worse still, he
had to overcome the absolute apathy that pervaded
the public mind on all questions of the post office.
Well might he exclaim with Macaulay, " There is
more interest taken over the murder of a single police-
man in Whitechapel than in a war with China."
It was a red-letter day in H. H.'s career when the
"Times" came to his support and lent its powerful
influence to the cause. Strong leaders were written
advocating Imperial Penny Postage, and their loyal
and generous support throughout the years did
much to shorten the battle and to snatch a victory
in the teeth of opposition.
Fortunately, H. H. had to an unusual extent the
gift of journalism, a gift which enabled him to present
his case in a manner that was interesting to the outside
176 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
public. Although he had at his finger tips unlimited
statistics, he always endeavoured to illustrate his
facts with some striking picture of common life : the
lonely settler reading his Christmas mail, or the old
folks at home receiving a money order from their
By 1890, he had succeeded in reducing international
postage from sixpence to twopence halfpenny, a
compromise that found little favour in the eyes of
the reformer, who considered twopence halfpenny
an inconvenient sum for a nation that does not use
In granting permission for the reprinting of a
passage from his book, Sir Charles Bruce writes :
" The present peril of the Empire is an eminently
appropriate moment for the publication of reminis-
cences of Sir John Henniker Heaton. They afford
encouragement in reminding us what can be and has
been accomplished by one single man, by sincere,
strenuous, and steadfast devotion to one imperial
cause ; and above all, the circumstances of the war
bring home to every household the use and service
of cheap communication by post and wire."
The passage referred to is taken from that monu-
mental work of Imperialism, ' ' The Broad Stone of
Empire," by Sir Charles Bruce, G.C.M.G., which gives
the following account of the fight for Penny Postage :
" In July, 1895, Lord Salisbury formed his second
government, and the appointment of Mr Chamberlain
as Colonial Secretary was announced, the Duke of
Norfolk being Postmaster-General. In February,
1896, Mr Henniker Heaton laid before Mr Chamberlain
the case for Imperial Penny Postage. His opening
words were :
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 177
' It is already apparent that you have set before
yourself the task of giving effect, so far as may be
practicable, to that feeling in favour of closer union
between the mother country and the colonies, which
is growing in intensity all over the Empire.
" ' . . . What we want is some cheap and ready
means of bridging over the chasm of distance between
our people and the millions of their colonial kindred,
of restoring the broken arch in their communications
and the severed link in their sympathies, of weaving
the innumerable delicate threads of private and family
affection into a mighty strand that shall bind the
Empire together, and resist any strain from our foes
or the Fates. We want it now, while we are threatened ;
now while crafty rivals would replace us, and our
wares and our rule ; now while our far-off kinsmen
are showing us in touching and inspiring fashion their
loyalty to the Queen and their love for the Old Country.
Such a measure as we are discussing would be instantly
understood as Britannia's reply to all this love and
loyalty ; not only in colonial exchanges and market-
places, but wherever a British axe rang in a clearing,
or a British hunter stalked the wilds ; aye, and in the
closets of European statesmen, too. The time is
opportune ; all we want is a Minister who will seize
the opportunity from which our Post Office has turned
"This appeal was not thrown away. Next year,
on the occasion of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the
colonial Premiers were assembled in London, and
met Mr Chamberlain on June 24th, 1897, when the
English Minister made the following memorable
" ' I should also mention the desire which is widely
felt, and which I share, for an improved postal com-
munication with the colonies. I believe that that
matter rests entirely with the colonies themselves,
and that they have revenue difficulties in the matter
178 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
which have hitherto prevented us from coming to any
conclusion. But I confess that I think that one of
the very first things to bind together the sister nations
is to have the readiest and the easiest possible com-
munication between their several units, and as far
as this country is concerned I believe we should be
quite ready to make any sacrifice of revenue that may
be required in order to secure a universal penny post
throughout the Empire/
" The Conference of colonial Premiers was followed
in the same year by a quinquennial Congress of the
Postal Union at Washington. At this Congress the
foreign delegates, keenly alive to the fact that every
reduction of postage must develop British commerce,
voted against a Postal Union penny-rate as one man.
The British Post Office at once took advantage of
the opportunity to revive a suggestion made originally
by Sir Rowland Hill in 1837, and renewed by Sir
James Fergusson in 1891. They proposed to the
Colonial Post Offices the establishment of an imperial
twopenny postage rate. The response of Canada
to this proposal was the announcement that from
January ist, 1898, the Canadian domestic rate of ijd.
would extend to correspondence to every part of the
Empire. The British Post Office protested that this
could not be done without the consent of the rest of
the Empire ; and, still hoping to force its twopenny
rate on the colonies, it proposed a Conference on the
" This Conference met in London, at the Westminster
Palace Hotel, on June 28th, and on July 5th and I2th,
1898. The delegates included the Duke of Norfolk
as Postmaster-General (Chairman), and an imposing
array of Postmasters-General and representatives from
the colonies and India. It was the only Conference
of Postmasters-General of the Empire that has ever
been held in London. For the following account of
the proceedings I am indebted to Mr Henniker Heaton.
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 179
" At the first meeting the Secretary of the Post
Office set forth the familiar objections of the Depart-
ment to the penny-rate ; and the inference naturally
drawn by the colonial delegates was that the Home
Government had receded from Mr Chamberlain's
offer. The Australian delegates accordingly announced
that they could not accept any reduction of postage.
This roused the delegates of South Africa, who offered
to support a uniform penny-rate ; and Mr Mulock,
for Canada, instantly closed with their proposal.
"The British officials then put up the Duke of
Norfolk to recommend the delegates, in a fatherly way,
to compromise their conflicting views by accepting
the happy medium of the twopenny rate. Mr Mulock,
however, formally proposed penny postage for all
parts of the Empire that might be disposed to accept it.
" At the third meeting the attitude of the Home
Delegates to the question of imperial postage had
undergone a transformation. The Duke of Norfolk
finally announced that the Government gave its un-
qualified support to the proposal of imperial penny
postage. And so ended the struggle between Mr
Chamberlain and the Post Office."
July of 1898 saw the initiation, though not the
completion, of penny postage throughout the Empire.
In later years H. H., when asked what was the
happiest time of his life, invariably spoke of the moment
when he scribbled the following hasty notes to his
Urgent and Express.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
3 P.M. izth July, 1898.
MY DEAR LITTLE WIFE,
I think we have won. The message to me
confidentially is " I think you will be pleased, although
not all you wanted." J. HENNIKER HEATON.
180 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Urgent and Express.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
9 P.M. i2thjuly, 1898.
MY DEAREST ROSE,
I have heard the following will appear in the
morning papers : " Imperial Penny Postage for the
Empire, except Australia, has been agreed to."
It is almost too good news.
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
To the Duke of Norfolk, as Postmaster-General,
fell the duty of conveying to Queen Victoria the news
of the introduction of Imperial Penny Postage.
" When does this come into force ? ' inquired
" We thought of the Prince's birthday," replied
In an instant the Queen, ever mindful of her
supreme authority, had drawn herself up.
" And what Prince ? " she inquired in her most
But the Duke was quite equal to the emergency.
" The Prince of Peace, ma'am on Christmas
Day," he replied quickly.
Thus it came about that penny postage was estab-
lished on Christmas Day, 1898.
H. H. writing to a correspondent, Mr John Wilson,
of Birmingham, expressed himself in these words :
" When the story of how we won imperial penny
postage comes to be written, it will be found that had
it not been for your great representative Mr Chamber-
lain we should have had to wait many years for the
beneficent reform. I never realized the strength
of purpose his sympathy for the poor, the hard-
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 181
working people of this country with relations abroad
until the opportunity came for benefiting them by
means of cheap postage. The mandarins at St Martin's-
le-Grand had the worst half-hour they ever had
in their lives in trying to measure swords with the
" Mr Chamberlain determined that the people should
have the boon, and he was ably seconded by my
friends Mr Mulock, P.M.G. of Canada, Sir David
Tennant, Agent-General for the Cape of Good Hope
together with Sir Walter Peace, Agent-General fo.
H. H. never felt satisfied that sufficient credit was
given to Mr Chamberlain for his share in the establish-
ment of penny postage. Some words to that effect
he wrote to Mr Chamberlain and received the following
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
I do not care a brass button who gets the
credit for the postal reform. The great thing is that
the matter has been at last brought to a satisfactory
stage, and I think that you and I are well content
with the results without wishing for special notice.
A leader in " The Times " paid a remarkable tribute
to the success of H. H.'s labours :
" Henniker Heat on is in reality the Marconi of
this new telegraphy of hearts. By bringing the
postage of the Empire within the reach of the poorest
he has rendered vocal innumerable chords which have
long been dumb, and acclaimed the unity of the Empire
by the responsive chorus of myriads of gladdened
182 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
hearts. Christmas is a peculiarly fitting season for
the spread of these glad tidings throughout the Empire,
for, after all, the true spirit of Christmas is the out-
going of human brotherhood and affection. We do
no more than express the sentiments of Englishmen
in all parts of the Empire when we offer Mr Henniker
Heaton a hearty Christmas congratulation on the
happy inauguration of a really great stroke of Imperial
That no man is a prophet in his own country H. H.
was destined to prove. It was not until 1905 and after
the most strenuous fight that H. H. was able to post
a penny letter to Australia, and it was in 1911 that he
had the pleasure of receiving the first letter from
Australia bearing a penny stamp.
The story of how we won penny postage to Australia
is set out in a chapter by itself, and bears eloquent
testimony to that great Imperialist, Sir Joseph Ward,
and the splendid work accomplished by Mr Austin
Chapman, Postmaster-General of Australia. Not con-
tent with his successful advocacy of imperial penny
postage, H. H. was engaged, in 1905, in establishing
a league for universal penny postage. The following
appeal was sent out in his name and secured enthusi-
astic replies from every quarter of the globe.
UNIVERSAL PENNY POSTAGE
Aug. 10, 1905.
It is intended to form a League for the estab-
lishment of Universal Penny Postage, so that any
inhabitant of our planet, white, black, or yellow,
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 183
may be enabled for the sum of one penny to communi-
cate with any other, at the lowest possible rate and
the highest attainable speed : Englishman with French-
man, German, Italian, or Russian ; European with
American ; Asiatic with Australian or African ; so
that when one soul has something to say to another
neither colour, nor religion, nor greed, nor diplomacy,
nor national antipathy, nor latitude, nor longitude,
nor poverty, nor any other barrier shall stand between
The hour has struck for this grand yet simple
assertion of the brotherhood of nations ; of a change
which threatens no interest, and benefits all mankind.
Since 1898, when Imperial Penny Postage was intro-
duced, our outward mails have nearly doubled. Every
Friday some 250,000 British letters pass through
France and Italy for India, Hong-Kong, and Austral-
asia 12,000 miles. The postage on each of these
letters is id. By the same boat a few British letters
are carried for residents in Calais 21 miles ; and on
these letters the postage is 2|d. ! By what perverse
ingenuity can such a distinction be justified ? Or why
should a letter to New York cost 2jd. and another in
the same bag be carried through that city and 1000
miles into Canada for id. ?
That thought can be fairly taxed at a custom-
house none will affirm. Opium can be weighed,
whiskey tested. But what scales are delicate enough
to weigh the products of the human mind ? That an
English letter should be taxed because it is addressed
to a Frenchman is a policy unworthy of the age.
This is not an argument for the benefit of the
" foreigner," since a letter benefits not only the
addressee, but even more the sender. And if so, can
it be contended that 10,000 letters sent to Canadians
benefit us more than as many addressed to Americans !
I maintain that the trade and commerce resulting from
cheap postage will amply compensate for any initial loss.
184 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
That the moment for action has arrived is indicated
by the fact that my friend, Sir J. G. Ward, Postmaster-
General for New Zealand, is to move a Resolution
for Universal Penny Postage in the Postal Union
Congress at Rome next year. It cannot be too soon
or too clearly shown that this doughty reformer is
speaking with the public opinion of the mother country
To you, as one of those to whom our people look
for guidance in great questions, I appeal for sympathy
and support. I ask you to enrol your name in our
League, and, if convenient, to give us a few words of
Without venturing to introduce the Sovereign's
name in this appeal, we may confidently assume that
no movement which aims at bringing the peoples of
the earth into more frequent and closer correspondence
and friendly intercourse can be indifferent to King
Edward VII., and that we have His Majesty's silent
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
H. H.'s insatiable demands brought forth a mild
protest from the Postmaster-General, Lord Stanley :
" I must say I was rather in hopes that, when I had
met your wishes regarding Australian penny postage,
I should not be called upon during my time of office
again to enter into a struggle with you. However,
I am quite sure we can fight and still remain friends."
Lord Roberts wrote :
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
I have received your letter about the establish-
ment of universal penny postage, and am very glad
you are moving in the matter.
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 185
I shall with pleasure enrol my name in your league,
and I trust that your efforts in this direction may be
as successful as they were in 1898 in getting imperial
penny postage established, which has proved such
a boon to the Empire.
Yours very truly,
Sir Wilfrid Lawson sent the following lines
Dear Henniker Heaton
You never are beaten,
But stick to your project like bricks.
And this your last dream
Most worthy I deem,
So my name you may freely affix.
What a world it would be,
Which some may yet see,
When a penny such wonders will work.
And think of our delight
To write day and night
To American, Frenchman, or Turk.
What scope there will be
For fellows like me
To send letters, and poems, and stories,
Including full streams (reams)
On that best of all themes,
A tremendous abuse of the Tories.
But dear Mr Heaton,
This world you will sweeten
By the project you now have in view.
It is perfectly clear
Twill bring nations near,
And what better thing can you do ?
i86 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
From the Dean of Norwich :
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
Universal Penny Postage is due to humanity.
England, as the mother of millions, should facilitate
the commerce of her children with those of all lands.
Interchange of thought smooths the angles of insular-
ity, clears the sympathy ; it deepens and strengthens
mutual respect. It will be the meanest expression of
the peddling spirit if the broad and bright reforms
you have initiated, and intelligence now desires, are
hindered by official parsimony. The great England
of to-day should set this matter going. Other nation-
alities would follow her lead. The old song of Deborah
should be chanted as your enterprise expands, " The
leaders took the lead and the people willingly followed."
We should not suffer this honour to be won by any other
power on earth. You have done wonders, and I
heartily hope the blessing of Heaven may crown your
untiring diligence, your intelligent enthusiasm, your
inspiring courage, and your unifying universalism.
I'll gratefully join the League.
W. LEFROY, D.D.
That H. H. did not live to see the adoption of his
cherished ideal of Penny Postage to France must be
accounted almost a tragedy, so dearly longed for was
On July i4th, 1908, H. H. led a large deputation
to the Prime Minister to ask that Penny Postage might
be established between France and England. Mr
D. V. Pirie, M.P., handed in a list of 410 members of
Parliament pledged to vote for Anglo-French penny
postage. He stated that the list comprised 210
Liberals, 100 Unionists, 50 Nationalists and 50 Labour
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 187
TEN EXCELLENT REASONS FOR ANGLO-FRENCH
PENNY POST. COMPILED BY H. H.
1. There are 42,000,000 people in Great Britain
and Ireland, and 40,000,000 in France. A narrow
channel 21 miles across separates these two great and
friendly nations. Surely the British and French
postal authorities still have energy enough to bridge
this chasm a chasm stretching apart into the blue
distance, like the two sections of the gigantic Roman
aqueduct in the Campagna that want a central con-
necting arch, or like the two sections of an alpine
tunnel before they are united.
Penny or ten centimes postage exists throughout
the British and French Empires, embracing a popu-
lation of 490,000,000 and an area of 14,600,000 square
2. At present the postage is one penny to Fiji,
11,000 miles from London ; and the postage to the
Society Islands, 10,500 miles from Paris, is ten
centimes, or one penny. Yet it is 2jd, or 25 centimes,
between Dover and Calais, 21 miles. We are like
people conducting two parallel railways under rival
ownership. The commercial and social benefit pre-
dicted from a costly Channel Tunnel could be secured
at once by a stroke of the pen, establishing an Anglo-
French Postal Union without alarming any military
3. Last year we sent to France 12,600,000 letters,
and received from France 12,000,000 letters. We sent
to France 1,500,000 Ib. of printed matter, and received
from her 1,092,000 Ib. of printed matter. There were
also sent through France to and from the East and
Australasia, 24,000,000 British letters and 8,200,000 Ib.
188 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
of printed papers. The postage on the letters to and
from France near at hand was ij times heavier than
on those sent through France to Australasia, 12,000
miles. But the rate of postage on the printed papers
was the same from England to France, as from England
to Australia. Yet mail-bags containing letters, and
mail-bags containing printed papers, are not distin-
guishable except by experts, and receive exactly the
same care and treatment.
4. The imports from and exports to each other
of England and France amount to 69,000,000
(1,725,000,000 fr.) The present high foreign postage
is in effect a tax on the exports of each country
injurious to both.
5. Under Clause 21 of the Postal Union any two
States might establish lower postage between them-
selves by forming a Restricted Union. Several pairs
of States (e.g. Austria and Germany, Canada and
the United States, Mexico and the United States) have
formed such unions with penny postage. Why should
not England and France form one ?
6. The French postal authorities have expressed
a desire to discuss postal rates with our Post Office.
The British officials have admitted that the 2jd. rate
is too high, but still wish to charge 2d., or twice as
much for sending a letter across the Straits of Dover
to Calais as across St. George's Channel to Dublin,
or across the Mediterranean to Algiers. The postage
level being the same on both sides, the Channel tax
is as absurd as would be locked gates in the Suez
Canal, as exasperating as would be a toll-gate in
7. The Anglo-French Postal Union, similar to
the Austrian-German, American-Canadian, and other
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 189
unions, would not require a single additional ship,
train, horse, cart, or man. The machinery is now
ample. The 12,000,000 letters from France would
not count beside the 2,624,000,000 inland letters now
dealt with by our British Post Office, more than an
additional rivulet flowing into the Thames.
8. No less than 780,000 passengers cross the
Channel every year all good customers of the Post
Office. British children to the number of many
thousands are educated in France, and we have colonies
of English residing in that sunny clime ; while there
are also thousands of French people in our foggy land,
who would all write five letters at a penny for one letter
at the present high rate.
9. Penny postage would cost neither country one
penny more than is at present expended. It would
bring a rich harvest of trade and good feeling. The
estimated minimum increase of letters would cover
the cost in a remarkably short period.
10. An Anglo-French Postal Union would be a
graceful, opportune, and popular demonstration of
" V entente cordiale," a practical, substantial fulfilment
of the kindly aspirations of the two peoples, so elo-
quently expressed by representative men ; a stimulus
to commerce, a boon to all, a memorial of the greatest
achievement of Edward the Peacemaker.
When, in 1910, Lord Blyth issued a circular letter
inviting Members of the House of Lords to express
their views on Franco-British Penny Postage, 230
signified their desire for the reform ; and Lord Dart-
mouth in his reply summed up the matter succinctly :
" For those will write
Who never wrote before.
And those who wrote
Will only write the more."
I 9 o SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
In the same year, H. H. and Lord Blyth visited
Paris on a mission that created great interest and
enthusiasm. Before leaving London they had an
interview with the French Ambassador, M. Cambon,
who expressing his fervent good wishes for the cause,
gave them letters of introduction to the chief French
ministers. On arrival in Paris, H. H. and Lord Blyth
were met by a body of members of the Chamber of
Commerce, led by Sir Joseph Walton. The French
Postmaster-General, M. Brian, M. Emil Dupont, and,
in fact, every Minister approached, and every man of
any position, warmly advocated the immediate adoption
of Franco-British Penny Postage. It is almost in-
conceivable that a great country like England should
allow the consideration of a possible loss of revenue to
outweigh the advantages of the only practical proof
of the entente cordiale.
Colonel Sir Arthur Davidson wrote, from Biarritz,
on the 24th March 1910 :
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
Many thanks for your letter and enclosures.
Although, as you say, the question of Penny Postage
between France and England is a non-party matter,
there are, still, possible international jealousies and
difficulties ambushed under such an arrangement :
and this being the case, it would be a delicate matter
for the King to speak to the Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer on a question affecting France and England
only : when other nations Germany, for instance,
might wish to retain the present 2jd. rate, and would
resent the proposed arrangement as interfering with
the International postal balance.
This would cause a complication in which it is
best that the King should not be included, or have
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 191
You are certainly tireless about postal reform,
and have good reason to be gratified with what you
have already obtained.
Yours very truly,
In this year 1916, it is not too much to hope that a
few months' time will see the adoption of this necessary
In 1908 H. H. achieved another triumph in the
introduction of penny postage to the United States.
The battle was not won without a long and weary
campaign. In 1890 he visited America to confer
with the Postmaster-General, the Honourable John
Wanamaker, on the possibility of establishing an
Anglo-America Penny Post. The final adoption was
largely due to Mr Wanamaker's advocacy and practical
help long after he had ceased to be Postmaster-General.
The names of Mr Roosevelt, Mr Andrew Carnegie,
the American Ambassador, Mr Whitelaw Reid, Lord
Blyth, Mr Baxter, and last and chief, Mr Meyer, will
be held in grateful memory by the letter- writing public
of the two nations.
On July 3rd, 1906, a deputation of 108 members
of the House of Commons, 24 ex-Members, Senator
the Hon. Nicholas Longworth of the United States,
many Peers, Bankers, and Presidents of Chamber of
Commerce assembled in the Grand Committee Room
of the House of Commons to meet the Right Hon.
H. H. Asquith, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the
Right Hon. Sydney Buxton, M.P., Postmaster-General. 1
The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Postmaster-
1 Viscount Buxton.
192 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
General expressed themselves as favourable to the
object, but regretted that the finances of the country
did not then admit of the additional expenditure.
America was anxious from the first to adopt Anglo-
American Penny Postage, but England held back on the
plea of loss of revenue. An offer was made by H. H.,
Lord Blyth, Mr Andrew Carnegie, the late Sir Edward
Sassoon, and Mr John Wanamaker to guarantee the
loss of revenue for the first five years ; but this offer
In 1907, H. H. was travelling in Australia when
he received a letter from Mr George Meyer, the pro-
gressive P.M.G. of the United States, expressing his
anxiety for the establishment of an Anglo-American
Penny Post. Immediately on receipt of this letter,
H. H. sent a long cable to Mr Meyer, and caught the
next ship back to England in order to pursue the
In 1908 the Franco-British Exhibition was held
in London. Lord Blyth was Chairman of the
Organizing Committee, and H. H. suggested to him
that it would be a fitting moment while President
Fallieres was in London to approach the P.M.G. with
renewed demands for a Franco-British Penny Post.
Accordingly Lord Blyth who, following H. H.'s
action in the House of Commons, had prepared a
similar list of members of the House of Lords in favour
of Penny Postage to France addressed a letter to
the P.M.G. strongly urging its adoption. The P.M.G.,
Mr Sydney Buxton, wrote to him privately saying that
it was a most inopportune moment as the P.O. was
already considering penny postage to America and
the exploiting also of the claims of France would
jeopardize both projects.
LETTER FROM MARK TWAIN TO II. H. ACKNOWLEDGING HIS INDEBTEDNESS
KOK MONEY SAVED IN POSTAGE
. ^ -p,
" &~t /&n>yiy /^U-ffft
FIRST LETTER FROM AMERICA TO ENGLAND BEARING A PENNY STAMP
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 193
Lord Blyth, after conferring with H. H., wrote
to the P.M.G. that under those circumstances he
withdrew all demands for Franco-British Penny Postage
as he considered America should come first ; at the
same time he wrote to H. H. the words which became
historic in all future postal campaigns, " One step
enough for me."
Mr Sydney Buxton, who had consistently sup-
ported the movement, was at the same time sub-
mitting the question to his colleagues of the Cabinet,
though naturally he was not at liberty to mention the
fact to Lord Blyth or to H. H.
A few days later, at a luncheon given at the Guild-
hall to meet President Fallieres, Mr Buxton came up
to Lord Blyth to tell him that his hopes of establishing
Penny Postage with America were at an end, as,
although he had cabled to America on behalf of the
British Government that England was now ready
for its adoption, he had received no reply.
Lord Blyth immediately got into telephone com-
munication with H. H., who suggested they should see
the American Ambassador, Mr Whitelaw Reid, without
delay. At ten o'clock the next morning, H. H. and
Lord Blyth called on Mr Whitelaw Reid, and showed
him the whole correspondence that had taken place
over a course of years. Mr Whitelaw Reid had always
been a strong supporter of the movement and offered
his services without reserve.
' What do you wish me to do ? " he asked of H. H,
' We want you to send a telegram to the President
to the effect that if America does not immediately
agree to the adoption of Penny Post, France will
obtain the boon before our English-speaking people,"
replied H. H.
194 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
That Mr Whitelaw Reid more than fulfilled his
promise may be gathered from the fact that two days
later H. H. received a private letter from the P.M.G.,
stating his intention of making an interesting announce-
ment in the House of Commons the following day :
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
In all probability I shall utter a statement
at end of questions to-morrow (Wednesday) which
will be of great interest to you.
I let you know as you may like to be present.
Mr Whitelaw Reid also wrote to Lord Blyth :
MY DEAR LORD BLYTH,
Now that the matter is substantially settled
I think I may, without impropriety, tell you confiden-
tially, and authorize you to mention to Mr Henniker
Heaton, that I received a despatch on May 3oth
from the Secretary of State, in reply to the communi-
cation I promised you to make. In this Mr Root said
that the Postmaster-General was then absent for the
week-end but the understanding was that no obstacle
remained to an agreement upon a new postal arrange-
ment with Great Britain on his return June ist. I
think Mr Buxton will also be ready to give you some
cheerful information soon.
On the night of September soth, 1908, H. H.
dined with one of his sons at the United Service Club,
and sat, after dinner, in a fever of impatience as the
hands of the clock slowly crawled round to midnight.
As the clock finished striking H. H. had the satisfaction
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 195
of posting half a dozen letters to America bearing the
penny stamp. It was no small gratification to H. H.
to receive a letter of congratulation from Mr Roosevelt
posted likewise in America just after midnight. Some
time later H. H. met Mr Roosevelt at the Guildhall
" It was a very great pleasure to me to post you
that letter," said Mr Roosevelt.
' Yes," replied H. H., " but why did you put a
twopence-halfpenny stamp on it? '
A letter from Mark Twain ran as follows :
DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
I do hope you will succeed to your heart's
desire, in your cheap cablegram campaign, and I feel
sure you will. Indeed your cheap postage victory,
achieved in spite of a quarter century of determined
opposition, is good and national prophecy that you
will. Wireless, not being as yet imprisoned in a
Chinese wall of private cash and high placed and
formidable influence, will come to your aid and make
your new campaign briefer and easier than the other
Now then, after uttering very serious words, am
I privileged to be frivolous for a moment ?
When you shall have achieved cheap telegraphy,
are you going to employ it for just your own selfish
profit and other people's pecuniary damage, the way
you are doing with your cheap postage ? You get
letter-postage reduced to 2 cents an ounce. Then
you mail me a 4 ounce letter with a 2 cent stamp
on it, and I have to pay the rest of the freight at this
end of the line. I return your envelope for inspection,
look at it, stamped, in one place, is a vast " T," and
under it the figures of " 40 " and under those figures
appears an " L," a sinister and suspicious and myster-
196 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
ious L. In another place, stamped within a circle,
in offensively large capitals, you find the words
" DUE 8 CENTS."
Finally, in the midst of a desert space up nor
nor eastward from that circle you find a figure " 3 "
of quite unnecessarily aggressive and insolent magni-
tude and done with a blue pencil, so as to be as
conspicuous as possible. I inquired about these strange
signs and symbols, of the postman. He said they were
P.O. Department signals for his instruction.
" Instruction for what ? "
' To hog extra postage/'
"Is it so ? Explain. Tell me about the large
T and the 40."
" It's short for take 40 or as we postman say,
" Go on, please, while I think up some words to
" Due 8 means, hog 8 more."
" The blue pencil 3 was an afterthought. There
aren't any stamps for afterthoughts the sums vary
according to inspiration, and they whirl in the one
that suggests itself at the last moment. Sometimes
they go several times higher than this one. This one
only means hog 3 cents more. And so if you've got
51 cents about you, or can borrow it - ."
' Tell me : who gets this corruption ? '
" Half of it goes to the man in England who ships
the letter on short postage, and the other half goes
to the P.O.D. to protect cheap postage from in-
augurating a deficit."
" I can't blame you ; I would say it myself, in
your place, if these ladies were not present. But
you see I'm only obeying orders, I can't help myself."
" Oh, I know it ; I'm not blaming you. Finally,
what does that L stand f or ? "
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 197
" Get the money, or give limit. It's English,
" Take it and go. It's the last cent I've got in
After seeing the Oxford pageant file by the grand
stand, picture after picture, splendor after splendor,
three thousand five hundred strong, the most moving
and beautiful and impressive and historically instruc-
tive show conceivable, you are not to think I would
miss the London pageant of next year, with its
shining host of 15,000 historical English men and
women dug from the musty books of all the vanished
ages and marching in the light of the sun all alive,
and looking just as they were used to look ! Mr
Lascelles spent yesterday here on the farm, and told
me all about it. I shall be in the middle of my 75th
year then, and interested in pageants for personal and
I beg you to give my best thanks to the Bath Club
for the offer of its hospitalities, but I shall not be able
to take advantage of it, because I am to be a guest
in a private house during my stay in London.
AS A POSTAL REFORMER (continued)
" The Post Office Annual Report gives one great food for thought, for it
shows that every man, woman, and child in the United Kingdom gets on an
average 120 Postal Packets every year. That is 45,000,000 people get
5,400,000,000,000. Another interesting fact is that in 1840 the average
number of letters received by the people of this country was 7, and in 1912
the average number of letters received by each individual is 70, or ten times
more. I do not think the population is more than double that of 1840."
J. HENNIKER HEATON. 1912.
"W" F I give way to Henniker Heaton on a single
point he is on my doorstep the next morning
with fifty more," said Mr Asquith, summing
JL. up in that one sentence the secret of H. H.'s
H. H. could afford to give his genial laugh when
acquaintances spoke of him as a " lucky man " a
phrase chiefly employed by those who sleep while
others wake, who rest while others toil.
" Keep on pegging away and you will win," wrote
the Duke of Argyll, who knew something of H. H.'s
persistent methods of attack.
" Be a Paganini play on one string," was H. H.'s
advice to ambitious young men entering Parliament,
and he certainly lived up to his teaching. Year after
year, he fiddled away on his one string outside the
portals of St Martin's-le-Grand, regardless of all
requests to move on. Postmasters came and Post-
masters went, and still that one string called Reform
sounded through the halls by day, and disturbed
dreams by night. Postal officials suffering under
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 199
H. H.'s bludgeonings and relentless criticisms must
have felt there was something almost uncanny in his
dexterous use of weapons : to-day cudgels and broad-
swords ; to-morrow ridiculous pin-pricks none the
The stolid stubborn resistance H. H. met with
made no more impression on his mind than the solid
rock can hope to make upon an incoming tide. Sooner
or later, little by little, the foundations will be washed
away : to-day a gentle lapping of the waves ; to-
morrow the breakers bursting in full force. Opposition
H. H. could and did enjoy, and the reasons given for
refusing to support his benevolent enterprises were
sometimes amusing. One writer stated solemnly that
the fewer opportunities nations had of knowing each
other, the fewer opportunities would they have of
quarrelling, and ended by citing Iceland in support
of this theory. An abusive letter reached H. H. from
Australia, wherein the writer complained that the
introduction of penny postage had let loose a flood of
correspondence from his poor relations in County
Clare, trying to borrow money from him !
That Penny-a-Word Telegrams would further
destroy the privacy of modern life was the reason
put forth by Sir Arthur Bignold in a letter to his friend :
" I must own up to being an ' impossible,' inasmuch
as my most fervent hope is in the direction of being
let alone and not improved, and I feel certain that
an instantaneous penny-a-word telegraph service would
land me in Hanwell right away.
" The Postal Service was the beginning of it, for until
that was established there was a little peace. You
saw your friend and bade him good-bye, and you could
not quarrel with him until you met him again. The
200 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
present railway system too by which you are shot
through the world like so many tons of coal, no one
caring whether you come or whether you do not,
except that there may be a certain weight of food
cooked for you to eat will not bear thinking of, and
now, when the telegraph system had practically
destroyed the peace and quiet of life, there are to be
telephones to complete the charter of human rights.
To me it's all maddening, and will cause my im-
mediate retirement to my Scotch mountains, to which,
thank goodness, there is no legal access at present.
Believe me to remain,
Yours very faithfully,
P.S. Still malgrJ tout I must support you. A. B.
When H. H. entered Parliament in 1886, he drew
up a list of sixty reforms for the Postmaster-General
most of which were adopted ; when he left Parliament
in 1910, he drew up another list of sixty-two reforms
one for every year of his life.
By 1891, H. H. had already been instrumental in
i. A saving of 107,000 a year, or a total saving of
1,070,000, on the cost of conveying mails to India
and the East during the next ten years.
2. A saving of 40,000 a year on the De la Rue
Post Office stationery contract.
3. A saving of at least 25,000 a year on the Sample
Parcel Post. Formerly tens of thousands of samples
were sent from London to Belgium, to be posted back
to England, and Belgium kept every farthing of the
4. A saving of at least 30,000 a year in the carriage
of mails to India, China, and Australia, overland from
Calais to Brindisi. When H. H. commenced the
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 201
agitation ijd. carriage for every letter was charged
by the Governments of France and Italy. The charge
was reduced to less than id. per letter.
5. The introduction of post cards to and from
6. The reduction of ocean postage to Australia
from 6d. to 4d. per letter, and the reduction of postage
to the Cape of Good Hope from 6d. to 4d. per letter.
7. Extension of the Parcel Post to France.
8. Introduction of the Telegraph Money Order into
9. Further reduction of postage to Australia from
6d. and 4d. to 2|d. per letter from January ist, 1891.
In the years that followed H. H. added continually
to the list of concessions wrung from the G.P.O.
Perhaps one that gave him most personal satisfaction
was the abolition of charges on lost or delayed postal
LOST OR DELAYED POSTAL ORDERS
To the Editor of the " Times."
SIR, It was with supreme satisfaction I received
from my bankers this morning a note informing me
that they had placed to my credit the sum of 75., being
the amount of two postal orders for 35. 6d. each col-
lected from His Majesty's Government on Thursday
fourteen years after issue.
These two postal orders are familiar to the House
of Commons, for I have exhibited them frequently
during debates as examples of Post Office stupidity.
The law was that any postal order not presented for
payment within a period of three months of issue
was subjected to a fine equal to the original amount
paid for poundage, and so on for each additional
three months. To the Postmaster-General I pointed
202 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
out that this action was utterly indefensible. I asked
him to remember that he makes a profit of from
10,000 to 12,000 a year on lost postal orders, but
not satisfied with that he levies a heavy commission
on poundage of postal orders not presented for pay-
ment within three months. No Shy lock of modern
times charges interest on money deposited in his
keeping. Yet on presenting these two postal orders
for 35. 6d., each drawn on November 5, 1890, the
Post Office offered to pay them if 75. 2d. was first
paid for poundage ! The holder had inadvertently
left them in his desk, and found them two years ago.
I had to tell our Postmaster-General that no Levantine
Greek had ever dreamt of such rapacity as exhibited
by his department in this case that is charging
100 per cent, for keeping the man's money and profiting
I am glad to say Lord Stanley passed an Act last
Session abolishing for ever the charge, and only exacting
one extra poundage for a delayed postal order. I
have relieved my pocket-book of my old friends, the
two postal orders, and gone for ever is another legiti-
Your obedient servant,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
October 24th, 1904.
In looking over old papers of H. H/s it is remark-
able to see how greatly the relations between him
and the postal officials were softened under the mellow-
ing influence of time. Where there was at first only
bitterness and strife " the severe, the ascetic, the
impregnable Mr Cecil Raikes " at the end we find
no small degree of mutual sympathy and the respect
of worthy antagonists. It may be that the great
factor in public not less than in private life
personal acquaintance had something to do with the
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 203
altered state of affairs. Was it not the Bishop of
London who wrote, " Personal contact is the great
solvent of all the difficulties in the world."
However it may be, H. H. numbered among his
personal friends many of the mandarins of St Martin's-
le-Grand, and entertained for at least one Postmaster-
General feelings of warm affection.
The following obituary notice appeared in " St
Martin's-le-Grand Magazine," written by the editor,
Mr E. Bennett.
" I am quite sure that none of my readers regret
more sincerely the passing away of Sir Henniker
Heaton than his old opponents ' the mandarins ' of
the Post Office. He had in his time troubled us in
season and out of season, and there was a peculiar
venom in his methods which hindered rather than
helped his reforms. But in the eighties and nineties,
when Sir Henniker was at his best, or his worst, as a
fighting man, it often seemed, even to those within the
service, that something dynamic was required to
upset the non possumus attitude of the Post Office
administrator, and to bring home to the Treasury
as well as to the Post Office the fact that the British
Empire demanded a great deal more from those who
were running the Department than the point of view
of a retail shopkeeper.
" Mr Massingham has spoken of Sir Henniker as
the ' most terrifically concentrated mind I ever met
in a Member of Parliament.' That was indeed the
secret of his success. He was a man who in public
life had only one subject, and in pursuit of his aims
he was untiring, obstinate, and often inconsiderate
to his opponents.
" During the last few years I have been able to
claim Sir Henniker as a personal friend and I have
worked with him in an association unconnected with
204 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
the Post Office. His public appearances gave no
indication of his private charm. He was a delightful
companion, an inveterate gossip, and he richly enjoyed
both hearing and telling good stories. He was as
staunch to his friends as he was to his policy, and he
who used the bitterest language about his opponents
in public was one of the kindest-hearted men I have
A warm friendship existed between H. H. and
Sir Neville Borton, Postmaster-General of Egypt,
and Saba Pasha. It was from the Egyptian Post
Office that H. H. took the idea of the little red book
of stamps which is now in use in the British Post
Office. When these books were first introduced in
England, two shillings was charged for them, although
stamps to the face value of only is. njd. were issued,
a piece of economy on the part of the " meanest and
greatest Post Office in the world " which brought
down such vials of wrath from H. H. that the extra
halfpenny was soon added, and the cost of the book
was defrayed by using the interleaved pages for
On October 2nd, 1912, H. H. wrote to Mr Herbert
MY DEAR POSTMASTER-GENERAL,
Your charming letter gave me much satis-
faction. Your removal of petty annoyances, such as
charging a halfpenny for a two shilling book of stamps,
and a farthing for a halfpenny post card, entitle you
to the blessings of the clergy, for men swore a good
deal at the meanness of St Martin's-le-Grand. I have
collected the answers of your predecessors for twenty-
five years declining to grant the concessions you have
made. I would like to publish the splendid result of
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 205
selling the two - shilling booklet of stamps at face
With sincere regard,
Yours most faithfully,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
Speaking of advertisements, a certain world-famous
pill manufacturer once approached H. H. with an
offer to pay the G.P.O. 15,000 a year for the privilege
of printing " Use 's Pills," on every postmark !
H. H. made no secret of the fact that he considered
Mr Herbert Samuel the greatest Postmaster-General
England has ever had. When Mr Samuel left the
Post Office, in 1914, H. H. wrote him the following
letter, from Nice.
MY DEAR POSTMASTER-GENERAL,
Your leaving the Post Office is to me a calamity.
The British people lose the best Postmaster-General,
and I lose a singularly generous and noble-minded
friend from that Department, far and away the most
just and able administrator during the past thirty years.
You have removed scores of petty and worrying
annoyances made by pettyfogging officials in former
years. You have taken the first important steps for
the reduction of telegraph rates to the Continent of
Europe, and I know that you were on the point of
carrying penny postage between France and England.
Most sincerely yours,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
I very much doubt if your new position gives you
the opportunities you deserve of serving your country
to its best advantage.
Health and strength to you in the years to come.
Your devoted friend,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
206 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
As is only fitting, P.M.G.'s seem to have a par-
ticularly pleasing gift of letter writing :
DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
My best thanks for your letter of the 5th.
I hope you spend your days buying halfpenny
post cards for halfpence, and penny letter-cards for
pennies ! *
I will inquire about the charge on telegrams to
Broadstairs and send you a reply shortly.
Yours very truly,
MY DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
I am glad that at last you have been willing
to accept an Honour you have certainly well earned
It is a satisfaction to me to know, and to feel,
that for so many years, and especially during the
time I was Postmaster-General, our relations were of
such a friendly character ; and I was very sorry when
you left the House.
At the same time, as I have more than once sug-
gested to you, I am sure that you never gave sufficient
credit to the desire on the part of the officials of the
Post Office not to speak of the Postmaster-General
to carry out useful and satisfactory reforms. Every
suggested proposal is not, of course, necessarily either
useful or satisfactory.
It is easier to suggest reforms than to carry them
out ; and I remember, in this connection, quoting
to the House, in one of my Estimate's speeches, the
old saying that " anybody can turn up Genesis, but
it takes an able-bodied man to find Hosea ! "
The real fact is that, even though a postal reform
may be a very good one, and be accepted in principle,
time, money, and opportunity (especially where another
1 A reform just introduced.
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 207
country, such as the U.S.A., has to be consulted and
persuaded) have all to be found and to synchronize,
in order to carry it through.
As Browning says :
" Never the time, and the place,
And the loved one all together."
The difficulty in postal reforms is the same ; but
nevertheless reforms are carried through.
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
I am so glad to hear even in strict confidence
that you are in favour of confining circulars to
All our troubles come from a departure from that
principle ; and I hope you will at once bring your
great influence to bear in that direction.
Lord Londonderry and I have spent some time
this morning in looking out a site here for the statue
which the Post Office will at once erect in your honour.
Very truly yours,
G. H. MURRAY.
If it is not possible to follow the traditional path
from " China to Peru," it is at all events possible to
include letters from the Legations of China and
DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON.
I write to thank you for your letter and for
the pamphlets which you have been so good as to
I am in entire agreement with you that it would
be of great service to my country to have a universal
208 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Penny Post, and I have little doubt that in time this
desirable end will be brought about.
I shall have great pleasure in perusing the
pamphlets, and should an occasion arise, shall lose
no time in doing what I can to further the objects
Yours very truly,
MY DEAR SIR,
I have hailed with great satisfaction the
announcement you make of a petition from influential
persons in this country regarding the establishment
of Penny Postage between Mexico and the United
Kingdom endorsed by the British Government. Per-
haps I may be able to carry it myself and lay it before
the President of Mexico. I feel sure that will bring
about the desired result, with the shortest possible
delay. I scarcely need say that I will strive and do
my best to help you in your very commendable work,
which I consider a great honour.
Looking forward to the pleasure of talking with
you about this matter either at the House of Commons,
on the 1 2th, or before.
Yours very truly,
H. H.'s daily letter bag was a large one, and the
complaints that poured in upon him from unknown
correspondents were a source of great help to him in
attacking the Post Office. People who had failed
to get satisfaction from the Post Office would appeal
to him, and it was strange indeed if no benefit was
derived from his assistance. At the time of the Boer
War many relations of soldiers wrote to H. H. asking
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 209
him to use his influence to get the parcel post reduced.
To one of them he replied :
I have been endeavouring to persuade the
mandarins at St Martin's-le-Grand to meet your views
(and that of thousands of others) in regard to soldier's
parcels. They blame the Treasury. I have a question
down to-morrow in the House of Commons, and I
have reason to believe that I shall get a sympathetic
if I cannot get a favourable answer.
It would be a grand thing to convey all parcels
for Tommy Atkins for id. each.
Very sincerely yours,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
H. H. was always interested in seeing any new
invention for stamping postmarks or safeguarding
letters. Weird and wonderful were the devices that
would occasionally arrive at Eaton Square, and
almost block up the hall and staircase to the intense
indignation of an elderly butler.
Suggestions, some useful, some useless, arrived by
nearly every post, and that hardy annual, a petition
for Halfpenny Postage, arrived duly at the season
of Postal Estimates and never failed to evoke H. H.'s
A letter reached him posted in America with the
simple address :
" I guess and calculate your Postmaster knows him."
The many charming anonymous letters of thanks
that reached H. H. were a great pleasure to him,
210 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
and Christmas time invariably brought forth a sheaf
of good wishes from all parts of the world, signed
variously : " A mother with sons abroad," " A working
man and his friends," " An exile in Canada," etc. etc.
If the writers should ever read this they will know
how greatly H. H. appreciated these letters of thanks
from his unknown correspondents.
The following letter, which was printed in " The
Times," brought forth the general opinion that it was
more valuable as an argument for Penny Postage
than all the statistics in the world :
CROYDON AVENUE, CROYDON,
SYDNEY, June 12, 1905.
To Mr Henniker Heaton,
It may seem a liberty to write to you, but
I feel I must, and congratulate you on the Penny
Postage to Australia. We all have much to thank
you for. My niece brought me five letters by the
mail a fortnight ago, saying, " Why, aunty, here are
five letters, all for you, and from home." " Well,"
I said, " there is something wrong," but no, it was all
right, all carried penny stamps, and at last we have
the penny postage. Such a treat five letters one
in three months was about the average.
You know a Scotchman loves his pennies.
The life of a Postal reformer is not an easy one,
but it was undoubtedly brightened from time to time
by little episodes that were not without humour.
A cable was sent by the late Rev. Henry Montague
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 211
Villiers to his son in South America. Mr Villiers,
having carefully inquired the price of each word,
wrote rather a long message. The following day
Mr Villiers received a letter from the G.P.O. demand-
ing more than four times the amount, and stating
that the clerk had made a mistake. A long corre-
spondence ensued, but Mr Villiers consistently refused
to pay. He very justly pointed out he would not
have sent such a long message if he had known the
real charge the fault was that of the Post Office clerk,
and the Post Office must bear the penalty. "If,"
wrote Mr Villiers, " I entered a restaurant and ordered
vin ordinaire and the waiter brought me in error
Chiteau-Laffitte, and supposing I drank it, I should
decline to pay for it."
A more tragic complaint was received from a lady
who had sent a packet of valuable lace from Ireland.
It arrived in a deplorable state, having been ruined
by the breaking of a bottle of Condy's Fluid over it.
The Post Office refused to give any compensation, as
they do not hold themselves responsible for anything
damaged in transit. " What would be thought,"
wrote H. H., " of a business firm like Pickford, or
Carter, Paterson, who declined to give compensation ?
The public would not stand it for an instant."
In 1891, H. H. compiled a long list showing the
haphazard methods of the Telegraph Department in
charging some words as one word, and others as two
words or even three. Here are some examples :
ONE WORD. Two WORDS.
Upstairs. Down stairs.
Can't, Won't, Don't. Shan't.
South Stainley. South Hawley.
Hampton Court. Hampton Wick.
212 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
ONE WORD. THREE WORDS.
So much ridicule was aroused by its publication
that many of the anomalies were abolished. Un-
doubtedly the privilege of saying " Shan't " for one
halfpenny was the most generally popular among the
less obliging portion of the community.
For some years "H.M.S. " as part of the
address was charged as one word, but " H.M.S. '
in the body of the telegram was counted as three
words. Perhaps it was partly the righting of this
anomaly that Admiral Sir Albert Markham had in
his mind when he wrote, ' We in the Navy have
special reasons for appreciating the great benefits
that the untiring labours of Sir John have conferred."
A further list of anomalies was published in 1901 :
ONE WORD. Two WORDS.
St Pancras. Charing Cross.
St Peter. Peter St.
New Brighton. New Broughton.
Twenty-five. Twenty five.
Needlemaker. Cabinet maker.
Mr Austen Chamberlain wrote to H. H. on this
DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
Your quarrel should be with the dictionary
maker (two words) rather than with the Postmaster
(one word) . Thus ' ' stove maker " and " boiler maker , ' '
e.g., are not recognized as words by the dictionary,
AS A POSTAL REFORMER 213
whilst cabinet-maker, needlemaker, wig-maker, etc.,
are so recognized and printed.
It is a misfortune from the effects of which we daily
suffer that the English language was a free and natural
growth. Had it only been placed under the charge
of the P.M.G. and swathed in red tape from infancy,
we should have avoided all these gross anomalies
which vex the soul of the careful student of the P.O.
I hasten to add that there is no dictionary founda-
tion for the difference between 10 and io/- (though,
alas, a very important one in practice !), and I will
try to meet your views on this point as well as upon
the time of day.
Many complaints were received by H. H. from
people who had suffered by reason of mistakes made
by careless telegraph clerks. He was fond of telling
the story of an announcement that appeared in the
newspapers (by cable) to the effect that the wife of a
certain Governor of Australia had given birth to
twins, the eldest of which was a son. This announce-
ment evoked unqualified astonishment among their
Excellencies' friends. Explanations were demanded,
and as a result it was found that the cable, " Governor
twins first son," was a misreading of " Governor turns
first sod," the message being concerned with the
ceremonial opening of some public park.
King Edward VII. of blessed memory took a deep
and encouraging interest in all H. H.'s schemes for
reducing the cost of communication. On one occasion
His Majesty landed at Dover and found H. H., who
was returning from Carlsbad, on the quay. The
King shook hands with him and then, remembering
with characteristic readiness the special interests of
the Postal reformer, he waved his hand towards the
channel, and said smilingly : "To think a letter costs
twopence halfpenny to cross that."
THE FIGHT FOR PENNY POSTAGE WITH AUSTRALIA
ON his writing-table H. H. kept three envelopes.
The first bore a sixpenny Australian stamp
for a letter weighing less than a third of an
ounce, addressed to him in England from
Sydney, New South Wales, in April, 1885 > the second
bore a penny stamp, addressed by H. H. in London
to Lord Northcote, Governor-General of Australia,
on the ist April, 1905 ; and the third bore a penny
stamp, dated ist May, 1911, posted in Melbourne,
Victoria, and addressed to him in London, from the
Hon. Josiah Thomas, Postmaster-General of the
The story of Penny Postage between England
and Australia is of dramatic interest. It opens with
the speech of that noble woman, Mrs Chisholm (" the
Emigrants' Friend," whose name, if unfamiliar to
English readers, is a saintly memory in Australian
hearts), at a public meeting, in which she stated that
the high postage prevented correspondence between
emigrants and the old folks at home, and the suffering
in consequence. Mrs Chisholm narrated the story
of one poor old woman dying in England through
having to refuse a letter on which she was unable to
pay the postage. The letter contained 25.
On Australian stations far away in the bush there
was nothing more touching than to see the emigrant
216 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
son reading a letter from home. Many a time in his
young life in the Colonies, H. H. was among a group
gathered round the camp fire listening to the letters
from Home read aloud. During his wanderings in
Australia, he one day entered a Court House and
was given a seat on the Bench. A young Irishman
was charged with cheating and defrauding Her
Britannic Majesty's Postmaster-General. Newspaper
postage to England was one penny, but letters six-
pence each. He wrote inside the newspaper : " My
dear Mother, The long drought has ended in Australia,
and I have got a situation at last on Mr B 's
station at a pound a week. Please God I will send
you two pounds at the end of the month. Your
affectionate son The newspaper was addressed
to his mother in Limerick, Ireland. The postmaster
discovered the message, and the man was arrested
on Mr B 's station for defrauding the revenue.
He was sentenced to three weeks' imprisonment, and
of course the loss of his billet followed.
These and other scenes, impressing themselves
upon H. H., built up his determination to secure
cheap postage at all costs.
A Speech in favour of penny postage was made
by Lord Rosebery at Paisley, in 1885, in the course
of which he said :
" Anybody who has to open the letter-bag of an
estate, as I have to do very often, will notice the
enormous number of letters with the Colonial stamp
and postmark coming to the families living on the
estate ; and it is perfectly futile for people to believe,
whether Liberals or Conservatives, that with these
letters passing and repassing between members of
the same family in England and the Colonies, the
OLD LETTER FROM AUSTRALIA UEARI.NT. SIXPENNY STAMP, l886
AD- C or* o n a r i|n . 1911 ,
FIRST U-K- AERIAL POST
By Sanction ofH'M*Po3lntyster Ce/tcrd/
FIRST AERIAL LETTER POSTED IN ENGLAND,
THE FIGHT FOR PENNY POSTAGE 217
members of the family who live in England could
afford to be indifferent to the Colonies."
From his first entry into Parliament H. H. con-
cerned himself with speaking, writing, and working
in favour of cheaper communication. In 1887, the
First Colonial Conference was held in London, when
H. H. proposed Imperial Penny Postage. It is hardly
conceivable at this date that so little interest was
taken in her Colonies by England thirty years ago :
nor is it believable that an Agent-General should speak
in the words used by Sir Saul Samuel on that occasion :
" There has never been any demand by the Colonies
for any reduction of postage from 6d. to id. If the
Colonies do not complain, and if the Colonies do not
want this reduction, is it to be given simply because
some people in England agitate for it without any
good reason ?
" Further, we have to bear in mind that half the
population of New South Wales consists of people
born in the Colony, who have scarcely any reason
for communicating at all with the mother country,
and I believe that this will be found to apply to several
of the other Colonies. A large number of people
who go out from England very soon lose touch with
the mother country, so far as correspondence goes,
and it is not likely there would be any large increase
in the number of letters."
It is hardly necessary to add that no action was
taken as the outcome of the conference. More than
ten years later, at a conference in 1898, imperial penny
postage was carried by seven votes to five, the five
opponents being Victoria, Western Australia, South
Australia, Queensland, and New Zealand.
This was a disappointment severely felt by H. H.,
2i8 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
but he was not discouraged. New Zealand, in 1900,
under the guidance of Sir Joseph Ward, was the first
to give a lead by announcing not only Imperial but
Universal Penny Postage. This news was communi-
cated to H. H. in a letter dated i6th August, 1900 :
I have much pleasure in informing you that New
Zealand will introduce Universal Penny Postage from
the ist January, 1901, as a befitting commemoration
of the New Century and adding another link to the
chain of Empire.
J. G. WARD, Postmaster-General.
Five years elapsed before H. H. received the
following letter from Lord Stanley, Postmaster-General
of England :
DEAR HENNIKER HEATON,
I cannot allow the bald statement which will
appear in Monday's papers to the effect that, so far
as this country is concerned, a Penny Postage rate
will come into force with Australia on ist April to
be the first announcement to you of the fulfilment of
one of your postal dreams. You have worked for this
reform with untiring energy, and I am glad to think
that I am the first, though I shall certainly not be
the last, to congratulate you. Credit to whom credit
is due, and I should be the last to deny to you the
credit of having to a great extent contributed to the
success of negotiations which have terminated in a
manner agreeable alike to you and to me. I trust
now you will devote your attention to trying to
induce the Commonwealth to lower, at the earliest
possible moment, their tariff to a penny so that the
Imperial Penny Postage between ourselves and the
Colonies may be complete.
1 Earl of Derby.
FIRST LETTER POSTED TO AUSTRALIA BY H.H. BEARING THE
PENNY STAMP, 1905
FIRST LETTER POSTED BY THE P.M.G. OF AUSTRALIA, THE
HON. JOSIAH THOMAS, BEARING A PENNY STAMP, 19! I
THE FIGHT FOR PENNY POSTAGE 219
H. H. replied as follows :
MY DEAR POSTMASTER-GENERAL,
Only those who have grown grey in the pursuit
of some high and cherished aim can understand the
feelings with which I read your inclusion of Australia
in the scope of Imperial Penny Postage. At last my
reproach is removed, and an invidious exception,
which went to my heart, is put an end to. No longer
shall I be pained by reading such notices as " Penny
Postage to all parts of the Empire, excepting Aus-
tralia," or " Postage to all foreign countries and
But my feelings are of small concern. It only
remains for me, as a humble representative of public
opinion in this matter, to tender you, as Postmaster-
General, Mr Austen Chamberlain, as Chancellor of
the Exchequer, and Mr Alfred Lyttelton, Colonial
Secretary, and I ought to add the editor of the " Times,"
the sincere felicitations and gratitude of our countrymen
on the happy completion of the Imperial Penny Postage
scheme. It had already, like the sections of an un-
finished railroad, produced considerable benefits. But
so long as the island-continent stood aloof there was
a kind of stigma attaching to it, which is now removed
for ever. You have forged the last link in the in-
tangible chain that binds the widely scattered frag-
ments of the King's dominions into one solid mass.
You have thrown the mantle of imperial unity over
the shoulders of the Sovereign. You have struck
the " Lost Chord " in the imperial symphony, and
one grand, perfect chorus ascends over land and sea.
Let me mention that I have the strongest and
most authoritative assurance that Australia will recip-
rocate your action at the earliest possible moment.
I have never expressed impatience on the subject of
her attitude, since I know that the adoption of the
penny rate to England would involve the reduction
220 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
of her inland rate to a penny, and a consequent annual
loss of 250,000.
I ought not to conclude this letter of gratitude
for a particular reform, great as it is, without ex-
pressing my sense of the value of numerous im-
provements effected in the postal and telegraphic
system under the administration of yourself and
your two predecessors, Mr Austen Chamberlain and
I am, yours very faithfully,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
In 1906, Mr Austin Chapman, Postmaster-General
of Australia, introduced a Bill to establish Penny
Postage throughout the Commonwealth and overseas.
It met with considerable opposition and was eventually
In 1907, H. H. visited Australia, and had many
interviews with leading citizens and members of
Parliament, with regard to the rate of postage. He
pointed out the absurd position Australia was in,
and that Australia and China were the only countries
not enjoying inland penny postage. An indignant
Chinaman at once replied that China was enjoying
penny postage, and that letters with less than a penny
stamp franked letters from the uttermost parts of
China and Japan.
Victory was completed in 1911, when the Hon.
Josiah Thomas, P.M.G. of Australia, addressed the
first letter under the penny postal rate to H. H. ; and
the long and weary struggle was thus ended.
Twenty-six years of strenuous labour, twenty-
six years of unyielding perseverance in the face of
indifference and opposition, resulted in the achievement
of H. H.'s deep-felt desire that he might live to see
THE FIGHT FOR PENNY POSTAGE 221
the country he loved enjoying the benefits of Penny
To Australia, the land of his adoption, H. H. owed
much, and I think he felt that in some measure he was
repaying his debt.
OR many years H. H. was engaged in en-
deavouring to secure the reduction of cable
rates. In a letter addressed to the Post-
master-General, he wrote :
" At present the bulk of our trading negotiations
are conducted in writing, just as they were between
Assyria and Egypt thousands of years ago. There is
a lamentable waste of time at every stage of the
proceedings. We do business at a rate which might
have been tolerable in patriarchal days, but which
obviously leaves out of sight our slender span of life
seventy years. My property is in Australia. It
takes me three months to write to that country and
get a reply to my letter. This is too much out of my
span of seventy years. Yet the human race for two
generations has been in possession of means of in-
stantaneous communication of thought, so perfect, so
unerring, so docile, and so plentifully found in Nature
that it would tax angelic intelligence to improve upon
it. This means is, for all but the most urgent concerns,
as utterly ignored and neglected as if we were living
in the days of the Pharaohs. Even when it is em-
ployed, each country sets a new tax on the passing
telegram, as it would upon luxuries or dangerous
commodities. The flash of the message instantly
passes over the face of Europe from one end to the
other ; yet it has to pay toll more than once on its
way to the various foreign Governments. It seems
to me it would be as reasonable to tax a sunbeam."
PENNY-A-WORD TELEGRAMS 223
In 1907, an article by H. H. in the " Arena," entitled
" How to Smash the Cable Ring," first aroused public
interest. The next year this was followed up by
further revelations in " The Financial Review of
Reviews," which created a remarkable sensation. Thus
encouraged, H. H. issued a pamphlet advocating the
establishment of universal penny-a-word telegrams,
which he submitted by way of referendum to the
judgment of representative members of the thinking
The overwhelming consensus of opinion in favour
of penny-a-word telegrams led to a great meeting
being held by the Royal Colonial Institute to con-
sider the practicability of penny-a-word telegrams
throughout the Empire.
The late Lord Jersey presided, and powerful speeches
were made by Mr Marconi, the Post master -General
of Canada, the Hon. R. Lemieux, Lord Strathcona,
Sir Charles Bruce, and others.
In the course of his speech H. H. said :
" Twenty-one years have passed away since I
stood on this platform before a distinguished represen-
tative and imperial assembly to advocate imperial
penny postage and cheap cablegrams. On that night,
in the year of the first Jubilee, I first advanced the
theory that a cheap telegraphic system for the Empire
was a commercial possibility, and that it would do
much to knit together our scattered Empire and link
up its many peoples.
" I need not bring back to your minds the fierce
resistance this project encountered. It was ' unheard
of/ ' monstrous,' and ' the wild phantasy of a dreamer.'
I was denounced for this notion of cheap cabling
in the language of the Old Bailey. The proposals I
placed before you were viewed with abhorrence by
224 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
the cable companies. They could not see the practica-
bility of my ideas. But in the course of the rolling
years these so-called visionary projects have already
come appreciably near to realization. That which
I advocated in the closing years of the last century
was a mild reform compared with what presents itself
within a wider horizon in this twentieth century. To-
day what we want is a universal penny-a-word rate,
and he would be a bold man indeed who would deny
the certain realization of our hopes.
" Let me go back for a moment to that stormy night
in 1887, which is full of suggestiveness to all those
who have stood with me in the forefront of this battle
waged against reluctant officialism, which, vowing
that it will never surrender, always ends by giving
way. On that occasion I advocated the construction
of a cable from the Cape of Good Hope to Australia.
The Eastern Telegraph Company, in the person of
one whom even his opponents would call our dear
old friend, Sir James Anderson, deemed the notion
impossible. Sir James Anderson said : ' There is
some talk of taking a cable all the way from Australia
to Mauritius across the route of the trade winds to the
Cape. There is not even a sandbank on which to
catch fish. There is not a port to which a cruiser or
a cable-ship can go to replenish their supply of coal,
which they are certain to require to do. There are
no ships going there. There is no trade, and nobody
wants to go there.'
" This was very plain and to the point. And now
what has occurred ? On January i, 1901 only
fourteen years afterwards the Eastern Telegraph
Company finished the construction, at their own
expense, of this very cable which they had denounced
me for advocating. Sandbank or no sandbank, fish
or no fish, observant men knew it was to come. I
must quote Sir James Anderson's speech that night
once more : ' Take the cable from Canada down to
PENNY-A-WORD TELEGRAMS 225
Fiji and New Caledonia to Australia. I do not believe
in it a bit, and I hope that no one with whom I have
influence will ever put a penny of money into it,
but leave it to those gentlemen who do not know any
" That cable is also laid the cable from Canade via
Fiji to Australia. To Sir Sandford Fleming, that
veteran Canadian whose patriotic work will for ever
be remembered, the credit of this work is due.
" The chief obstacle which is before us in the fight
for carrying out our policy is in the political frontiers.
Our object, therefore, should be to abolish political
frontiers, so far as telegrams are concerned, in our
communications with every part of the earth. In
this matter ' political ' frontiers, by arrangements
with foreign Governments, ought not to be taken into
consideration at all. Between man and man these
political frontiers should not exist. As a matter of
fact to the travelled individual who has friends all
over the world they do not exist, except on paper.
" At this point it may be observed that if we cannot
get over this difficulty I place my hopes on my friend
Marconi. He entirely ignored political frontiers when
I received from him at Port Said, on board the
" Renown," a wireless message which must have passed
over all the political frontiers of France and Spain and
the Alps before it reached Port Said in Egypt."
No time was lost in calling a meeting at the Mansion
House, presided over by the Lord Mayor, Sir J. C. Bell,
and attended by a number of highly important and
influential City merchants. Among others present
were men of such world-wide interests as the Duke of
Argyll, Lord Milner, Lord Blyth, Lord Strathcona,
Sir Owen Phillips, Sir William Holland, Sir Edward
Sassoon, Sir Albert Spicer, and many others.
The speeches delivered by Captain Muirhead Collins
226 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
and by the Hon. R. Lemieux were of such a character
as to render it certain that the Colonies were fully
determined to secure the benefits which cheap teleg-
raphy would confer.
A resolution was proposed by the Duke of Argyll
and seconded by Lord Milner :
' That this meeting, convinced of the desirability
and necessity to manifold imperial interests of a
system of low priced, easy, uniform means of telegraph
connexion within the Empire, pledges itself to support
the efforts of the Cable Committee of Members of
Parliament with that supreme object in view."
If H. H. hoped that an immediate reduction of all
cable rates would follow, such hopes were doomed
to disappointment. Very carefully, very slowly,
minor concessions were granted, such as a halfpenny-
a-word reduction in rates for telegrams to thirteen
countries in the European system.
An impetus was given to the movement for cheap
cabling by a highly instructive paper read before the
Royal Colonial Institute, by Mr Charles Bright,
F.R.S.E., M.Inst.C.E., M.I.E.E. "It has always
seemed to me," he said, " that a great advance would
be made in our inter-imperial communications if an
all-round imperial cable tariff say, of is., gd., or even
6d. could be put into operation."
A pronouncement from such an authority carried
considerable weight among even the most sceptical.
Mr Bright's name will always be associated with every
victorious step in the direction of cheapening imperial
The year 1909 was memorable for the first Imperial
Press Conference held in London. The Conference
PENNY-A-WORD TELEGRAMS 227
was primarily the conception of Mr Harry Brittain
while travelling in Canada. After enlisting the sym-
pathy of the Governor-General, he returned to England
and secured the co-operation of all the great newspaper
proprietors and editors, including Lord Burnham
(President), the Honble. Harry Lawson, Lord North-
cliffe, Mr Arthur Pearson, and Mr J. A. Spender.
Discussions were held on the Defence, Commerce and
Unity of the Empire, and speeches were made by
leading statesmen of every country represented.
On the subject of imperial communication H. H.
was invited by the Secretary of State, Mr Harcourt,
to lay his views before the Conference and to furnish
the members with the necessary number of his
pamphlets on cable communication.
One immediate result of the Imperial Press Con-
ference was to reduce the Press Cable Rates to almost
every part of the Empire by twenty-five per cent.
The further result of this reduction was that more
news was obtained at the same price and what was
more important it succeeded in creating a demand
for more news still.
No longer need Canada complain :
' We are kept fairly well posted up upon the
happenings in Great Britain though nine-tenths of
this news comes to us by United States channels,
but what do we really know about what is going on
elsewhere in the Empire ?
" During the South African War we were posted
about every clash between outposts : but with the
return of peace South Africa ceased to be regarded
as a source of news and in the last seven years we have
not received, all told, as much cable news from that
part of the Empire as we did in a single week during
228 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
With the advent of Mr Herbert Samuel to the
Post Office the " Deferred Message " System was
introduced, by which plain language telegrams to
British oversea Dominions and the United States
were reduced by one-half, subject to deferment of not
more than twenty-four hours. Other facilities were
granted for sending long messages known as " Week-
end letters " at a fifth and a quarter the usual rate.
From time to time, other reductions have followed
and, although the dream of penny-a-word telegram
is still unrealized, the day may not be far distant
when we shall speak as easily to Australia and New
Zealand as we do to Ireland.
H. H.'s faith in Wireless Telegraphy never wavered
from the time of his first coming into contact with
Marconi and his invention. His heart was set upon
bringing the various units of this great Empire into
closer contact with each other, and he regarded Wire-
less Telegraphy as the means which would, combined
with cheapened and accelerated postal communications,
do more to effect that end than any other possible
H. H. was a firm believer in the future of ether-
wave transmission from the point of view of the
interests of this country and the world at large. He
looked with admiration and approval at the work
which Marconi had already effected, and placed un-
quenchable faith in that which he was destined yet to
achieve. Whenever a new invention or development
of a former one had reached a stage suitable for in-
vestigation, H. H. was always one of the first to
be consulted and his sympathetic attention never
His interest was enlisted in an invention of Marconi's
PENNY-A-WORD TELEGRAMS 229
for use in warfare, and in 1902 Field-Marshal Sir John
French wrote as follows :
MY DEAR MR HENNIKER HEATON,
Many thanks for yours of the 2Oth.
I am obliged to get special permission from the
W.O. to try any new inventions here. This I hope
to obtain shortly and we will then proceed.
I shall be very glad if you will kindly come to stay
with me when the trials are going on.
Yours very sincerely,
J. D. P. FRENCH.
The close of the great European warfare now in full
tide is likely to witness the fulfilment of H. H/s
prophecy : ' The world watches Marconi as one of
the gifted leaders born for our time. His system is
a powerful factor in our crusade of cheap imperial
communications . ' '
It is interesting to recall that H. H.'s last public
utterance in the City of London was a plea for the
establishment of penny-a-word telegrams.
The Right Honourable Sir Vezey Strong, K.C.V.O.,
wrote as follows :
I enclose you a brief notice of the Banquet
given by the Worshipful Company of Plumbers on
the 2Oth December, 1912, at which your father, Sir
John Henniker Heaton, was an honoured guest, and
at which, as Master of the Company, it was my privilege
I think you will find that the last public pronounce-
ment by your father, of his hopes and aspirations for
the further extension of the beneficent work to which
he devoted so much of his life, was made on this
230 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
occasion, and it seems to me that a Biography of Sir
Henniker Heaton could not end on a more appropriate
or inspiring note than the quotation of his own words,
uttered at the close of his public career.
The Banquet of the Plumbers' Company was, I
believe, the last occasion on which he spoke in the
City of London. I use the word " the City " in its
strict sense, for, as you will probably know, the City
is that portion of London governed by the Lord Mayor
and Corporation, having as its centre the Guildhall
and the Mansion House, and as its Western Boundary
the place where Temple Bar formerly stood, now
marked by the Griffin opposite to the Law Courts in
the Strand. The guests included the Lord Mayor,
Sheriffs, representatives of State Departments, the
Colonies and oversea Dominions, Mayors and principal
officers of Metropolitan and Provincial Boroughs,
the Presidents and Members of Scientific and learned
Societies, Guilds, and other bodies.
It was an occasion so important and so significant
that its full significance was perhaps hardly realized
at the time. It is only in looking back upon such
moments that they come into their proper perspective.
" I shall not regard my work as completed," said
your father, " until time and space have been anni-
hilated, and the scattered coasts of the Empire have
been so united that we can speak to the people of
New Zealand as easily as I am speaking to this
It was his farewell message to the Empire which
he so greatly loved, spoken from the very centre of
that Empire ; and he was at that moment surrounded
by men who can powerfully help to the fulfilment of
his dream. The High Commissioner for New Zealand
was sitting by his side.
It was your father's inspiration to " Carry On ! "
Those who were present on that occasion will read
again in your book the words which they heard from
PENNY-A-WORD TELEGRAMS 231
your father's lips. And thousands more in all parts
of the world will read them and be moved by them to
fresh exertions for the achievement of his dream, and
of more than even he ever dreamed.
I am, dear Madam,
Yours very sincerely,
T. VEZEY STRONG.
AN IDEAL POST OFFICE
SIXTY-TWO reforms one for each year of his
life were drawn up by H. H. on his retire-
ment from Parliament, 1910, and presented
to the Postmaster-General 1 with the follow-
ing letter :
MY DEAR POSTMASTER-GENERAL,
You will have observed the tendency of men
who have taken part in political affairs to set forth
I will not say bequeath on their retirement a scheme
of general improvement for the benefit of their fellows.
Although wanting the profound sagacity and
dazzling imagination of the great Utopians of past
years, I would yet crave permission to enumerate
certain reforms in the great postal department over
which you preside, which might render it still more
efficient. None knows better than a close student
of all the post offices of the countries of the world, how
splendid is our record of achievement in the British
Post Office. Much courage is required to point out
any remaining defects or failings. But we all know
our truest friend is he who tells us of our faults. From
this point of view I am the best friend the Post Office
This is not the first time I have ventured on a
summing-up of postal grievances. Each of your
predecessors during the past quarter of a century has
received such a list at my hands. Many of these
demands nearly one hundred have been conceded,
1 The Right Honble. Herbert Samuel.
THE MARTIN LUTHER OF THE 1'OST OFFICE
Ry permission of tlie proprietors of " The Graphic"
AN IDEAL POST OFFICE 233
including such substantial boons as imperial penny
postage, and penny postage to the whole of the
English-speaking countries of the world.
There remain the 62 given herewith one, by an
accidental correspondence, for every year of my life.
Many of these you may meet at a little greater ex-
penditure than that of the ink used for your signature.
All represent real and urgent public needs. Some of
them I drew up as a young and hopeful reformer. They
still utter the wishes of the public an appealing note
of truth, like the old gramophone records into which
Browning breathed poetry and Patti music. They
stand as a Pygmalion's gallery of statues waiting for
life to be breathed into them. Need I say by whom ?
Of one thing all who know you will be assured
that not one reform will be refused or delayed without
your personal and unbiased investigation of the
question involved, or because the interest of humble
toilers only are at stake.
In conclusion, permit me to express a hope that
you may adopt the suggestions and reforms given
below ; in other words, so signalize your term of office
by improving the communications of the people by
post, telegraph, and telephone, that at its termination
you will need no other memorial than the record of
I am, your obedient servant,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
THE IDEAL POST OFFICE
1. Universal penny postage.
2. An Imperial Postmaster-General.
3. International Conference between Postmasters-
General in reference to telegraphic and telephonic
234 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
4. Telegraph tariff to any part of Europe to be
one penny per word.
5. Halfpenny post cards to all parts of the world.
6. Rearrangement of time-tables for mails to and
from Australia and India, whereby sufficient time be
allowed for replies to be written.
7. Telephone charges to the Continent to be
8. Parcel post to foreign countries and the Empire
9. Telegraphy money order extended to all parts
of the civilized world.
10. The cables owned by British companies to
be acquired (and all gaps bridged) by the British,
Indian, and Colonial Governments, and worked at
the lowest remunerative rates.
11. Telegrams to all parts of the British Empire
to cost one penny per word, with a minimum total
charge of one shilling.
12. A cheap agricultural parcel post with special
provision, by motor-car or otherwise, for rapid collec-
tion throughout Great Britain and Ireland.
13. Introduction of the cash on delivery system.
14. Minimum charges for samples to be reduced
to one halfpenny.
15. Post cards to be sold at their face value.
16. Quality of post cards to be improved.
17. Permission given to stick a newspaper para-
graph on a card.
18. All charges for printing halfpenny stamp on
private post cards to be abolished.
19. All anomalies and contradictory regulations
to be put right.
20. An imperial exchange x>r clearing-house for
postal orders to be arranged.
21. No confiscation of reply-telegrams if unused
for any length of time.
22. Stamps to be sold on Sundays at all telegraph
AN IDEAL POST OFFICE 235
offices, railway stations, and the chief provincial post
offices that are open for general business.
23. Mandat-carte system to be introduced for sums
up to i.
24. The charge for registration of letters and all
postal articles to be reduced to one penny.
25. The fine for insufficient postage not to exceed
one halfpenny for inland and one penny for foreign
26. Three classes of postmen for expediting
delivery, (i) letters and post cards, (2) newspapers,
27. Tube conveyance of mails in cities.
28. Letter boxes to be provided on all through trains.
29. England is the only country not named on its
own postage stamps. This to be remedied.
30. An international postage stamp to be brought
into use or an exchange of stamps at the various post
offices of the world might be arranged as bankers
exchange their cheques.
31. The sender of a letter to have the right to recall
it after posting.
32. Postmarks to be made clear and legible.
33. Letters containing lottery tickets and adver-
tisements to be destroyed.
34. Full compensation to be given for neglect,
default, or larceny by officials.
35. Improved pillar-boxes for the safe-guarding
36. Charges for redirection of telegrams to be
37. The name of each place, etc., in the United
Kingdom to be charged in telegrams as one word.
38. Name and address on telegrams free, or twenty
words for sixpence.
39. Compensation to be awarded for errors in
telegrams through carelessness on part of the post
236 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
40. Telephone calls to all parts of the Kingdom
to be reduced.
41. Magazine post at the rate of eight ounces for
42. All bona fide periodicals issued for sale to be
registered and transmitted at newspaper rates.
43. Sailors and soldiers serving abroad to have
their letters sent postage free.
44. HALFPENNY POST
The following notice on the Parliamentary paper
explains itself : Mr Henniker Heaton : Halfpenny
To call attention to the halfpenny post regulations
of the British Post Office, and to the fact that tens of
thousands of British subjects are fined annually for
breaches of these regulations through being unable
to define what is halfpenny matter and what is in
the nature of a letter ; and to move : that, inasmuch
as the Postal Guide contains more than two pages of
definitions, and that there are only two persons in
the Post Office who know what can and what cannot
be sent by .the halfpenny post, and that these two
disagree, steps be taken forthwith to revise and
simplify the definitions and regulations.
45. REPLY COUPONS
All coupons for reply stamps cost 3d. that is, 2jd.
for the stamp and Jd. commission. Now that postage
is reduced to India, to all the Colonies of the British
Empire, and to the United States of America and
Egypt, to id., coupons for reply stamps should not
cost more than ijd. each to these countries.
46. The Post Office Savings Bank to accept pence.
47. The system of mail subsidies to be placed on a
AN IDEAL POST OFFICE 237
48. All business expenditure for sites and buildings
to be carried to a capital account, and spread over
several years, instead of being paid out of current
49. The surplus of the Post Office over and above
three millions sterling to be devoted to cheapening,
extending, and facilitating the postal and telegraphic
services of Great Britain and Ireland.
50. A Government printing office to be established.
51. The insurance department of the Post Office to
be placed under the control of an experienced manager.
52. The architecture of post offices to be improved.
53. Lodgers' letters to be re-addressed by the Post
54. A letter service de luxe to be established. I
would invite designs for a handsome express stamp,
value 3d. This express stamp would insure delivery,
(i) of any special letter of great importance, (2) of a
letter on Sundays throughout London, and (3) it would
also insure a letter catching the Continental or late-
country post. It would be delivered by a special
55. THE REPOSTING OF NEWSPAPERS
Considering the importance of publishing Empire
news throughout Great Britain and Ireland, I hope you
will consent to the registration in this country, at the
present rate for British newspapers, of all newspapers
published in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Africa,
the West Indies, and all the other colonies and de-
pendencies of the British Empire, so as to enable them
to be reposted at a moderate postage rate to friends
in this country.
56. " Baggage smashing " to be stopped or paid
57. LONDON should be made one district in regard
to the redirection of parcels.
238 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
May I venture to recommend that you should
reconstitute London one postal district for the re-
direction of parcels ? A parcel redirected from the
House of Commons to Eaton Square is sent free ; but
a similar parcel sent from the House to the Grand
Hotel, Charing Cross (one quarter the distance) is
subjected to a fine of lojd. for redirection.
58. THE TELEGRAPH DEPARTMENT DEFICIT
Your telegraphic deficit of one million sterling
per annum is not very creditable to your department.
It is not paralleled in any other civilized country in
the world. Some time ago, I found that every inland
telegram cost you a shilling, while the average value
or receipt was 7|d. for each telegram.
59. A new post and telegraph office to be erected
at Charing Cross.
60. A clear and Intelligible " Post Office Guide "
in legible print to be prepared.
It is suggested that the " Guide " should be revised
in the interests of the public, and that the regulations
should be at least grammatical, always clear, and
61. AUTOMATIC STAMPING MACHINES, ETC.
As we are dealing with ideals, let me breathe a
sigh for the speedy advent of a penny in the slot letter-
stamping machine, which will one day be incorporated
with every pillar-box.
This will do away with the nauseous formality of
licking adhesive stamps, and many journeys to pur-
chase them, and it will be a step towards the riper
ideal of the penny telegram.
AN IDEAL POST OFFICE 239
62. STAMPING NEWSPAPERS
In all the great newspaper offices of London,
Liverpool, Manchester, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh,
Glasgow, etc., and at the principal newspaper agencies,
you should arrange with the principals to save expense
and delay by posting the newspapers without affixing
stamps, and in some cases even postmarking.
' "Jf IFE has been very good to me," H. H.
was sometimes heard to say, and he spoke
humbly as one undeserving of much
* ^ reward. In a world where so many lives
are embittered by disappointment, so much merit
unrecognized, it was always with a sense of heartfelt
gratitude that H. H. received the just reward of his
I think the honour he prized beyond all things
was the bestowal upon him of the Freedom of the
City of London, in 1899. It is an honour few may
claim. Titles may be bought, patronage may secure
privileges, but merit alone can win a place upon
" London's Roll of Honour." The casket containing
the scroll of Freedom was of solid gold, ornamented
with enamelled panels representing the old fashioned
mail coach and mail train and views of an old-type
sailing ship and modern steamer. The quaint testi-
mony of the " compurgators " was read before the
Lord Mayor, declaring that "Mr J. Henniker
Heaton, M.P., is a man of good name and fame, that
he does not desire the Freedom of the City whereby
to defraud the Queen, or this City of any of its rights
and customs or advantages, but will pay scot and
bear his lot, and so they all say."
The Chamberlain, Sir Richmond Cotton, in moving
the address said :
" Mr Henniker Heaton You have heard from
the Town Clerk the Resolution in which the Corpora-
tion of the City of London unanimously decided to
enrol your name in the list of its Honorary Freemen.
" It becomes my pleasant duty, as Chamberlain
of London, in the name of the Court, to offer you
congratulations on those public services which have
led the City to record you on what has been not inaptly
called ' London's Roll of Fame/ which includes
Kings, Princes, Statesmen, Patriots, Warriors, Ex-
plorers, Discoverers and Philanthropists. It is as a
Philanthropist that we are privileged to greet and
welcome you to-day.
" It will be interesting to you to be reminded that
twenty years ago an exactly similar honour was
bestowed by the Corporation on that great postal
reformer Sir Rowland Hill, in acknowledgment of the
social and commercial benefits the country had derived
from the adoption in 1840 of his system of Uniform
Penny Postage in the United Kingdom.
" And now, Mr Henniker Heaton, I have the honour
and pleasure, in the name of the Lord Mayor, Alder-
men, Sheriffs, and Common Councilmen of the City
of London, whose action to-day will, I feel sure, be
warmly endorsed by all classes of the community,
not only here, but in India and the Colonies, to offer
you the right hand of fellowship, as a Citizen of this
great City, and to ask your acceptance of this gold
casket containing the scroll of your Freedom, which
may remind you, and those who may follow you, of
the respect and esteem entertained for you by this
ancient Corporation for your distinguished public
services as a Philanthropist and a Reformer/'
The Freedom of the City of Canterbury was con-
ferred upon H. H., and thus he became a Freeman of
the Capital of the Empire, and also a Freeman of the
ecclesiastical capital of the Empire.
242 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
The presentation of a testimonial from the Heads
of Australian Banks in London had a double signifi-
cance. It not only expressed their appreciation of
his Empire work but it set the seal of approval upon
its financial aspect. Bankers are proverbially long-
headed, and when they are pleased to approve a
scheme it is high time for all talk of " visionaries and
dreamers " to cease.
H. H. was a Fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute,
a Fellow of King's College, London, and a Fellow of
the Royal Society of Literature. Some years before
his death his name was put forward as a candidate
for the Nobel Peace Prize, and had he lived his friends
hoped to see this bestowed upon him, supported as
it was by the greatest names in England.
Throughout his political life, his efforts were en-
couraged by words of appreciation from the highest
to the poorest in the land. He was honoured on
more than one occasion by a letter of thanks
from Queen Victoria, King Edward, and Queen
Alexandra. At the other end of the scale he appreci-
ated the pious wish of an unknown admirer who
wrote, " A Birmingham navvy desires to congratulate
you on your success Penny Postage. I should like
to have the job to excavate for foundation of your
During H. H.'s visit to Australia in 1912 his
services were recognized by the bestowal of a baronetcy
by the King. A public welcome awaited him on his
return to London, under the auspices of the British
Empire League. Lord Blyth, with Lord Curzon,
arranged the form of the welcome, and the presentation
of an illuminated album, containing over a thousand
signatures, and the appreciations of distinguished and
representative men not only of all parts of the Empire,
but also of many foreign countries.
The Presentation took place on Tuesday, June n,
1912, and the following account appeared the next
The City of London has a manner and a splendour
all its own, and both of these last night were at the
service of Sir Henniker Heaton. The City does not
receive its chosen heroes as its neighbour Paris
welcomed General Boulanger.
The atmosphere of the Masque has never been
the atmosphere of London's Civic welcomes. We do
not throw confetti and shake out fairy-lamps and
spangles on to the dark mantle of our midnight greet-
ings. We prefer to take our chosen heroes quietly,
as befits a quiet and sober folk, into that great old-
world " parlour " of our City, the Guildhall, and,
sitting together in the homely fashion of people who
have earned a rightful repose through work and
labour, talk to our guest of honour of his triumphs
and his achievements, wish him the brightest of
futures, toast him among ourselves, and depart on
our several ways with a fervent hope that the serenest
stars will illuminate the evening of his days.
It was so with Sir Henniker Heaton last night.
He was welcomed at the Guildhall by the Lord Mayor,
Lord Curzon, Lord Blyth, and at least a thousand
members of the executive and general committees
formed at the invitation of the Duke of Devonshire
to do honour to a great benefactor of humanity on
the occasion of his return to England.
The historic wealth of our old city hall, the grey-
ness of its walls, its breathing sense of slowly estab-
lished traditions and history lent an atmosphere of
stateliness and dignity to the proceedings which
brought out the cause rather than the brilliance of
244 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
LORD CURZON ON " LOVE KNOTS "
Most of us know to-day something about the
remarkable symposium of expressions of appreciation
of Sir Henniker Heaton's work on behalf of universal
and imperial penny postage, something about the
character of those appreciations and the representative
men of all classes who have contributed to them.
It was fitting that the symposium preserved in an
illuminated album should have been made the crux
of the evening's ceremony, and it was fitting that so
brilliant and so polished an orator of Empire as Lord
Curzon should have consented to make the speech
A commanding figure on the draped dais raised
in the centre of the great hall, with the clustered light
and the old civic banners above his head, Lord Curzon
enraptured the brilliant assembly gathered around
him in a speech that possessed the polish of fine oratory
and the mellowing touch of human feeling. When
he referred to the amount of happiness Sir Henniker
had brought into the world, the mothers whom he
had united to emigrant sons, and the " love knots "
he had tied, by the wonder of the penny stamp, our
eyes turned involuntarily to the white-haired figure
of Sir Henniker himself, and it was easy to see that,
as he listened with all the pride of a man who has
served time well and who has lived to be recognized
by his generation he was touched with profound
And in his reply he spoke at times with a pardon-
able emotion, but always with dignity. It was the
speech of a man looking back upon the chronicle of
his days, and seeing that it had been written in letters
that were well and fair. It was, moreover, a speech
of great natural modesty. It drew us closer to Sir
Henniker, and, after all, it is not very difficult to be
drawn close to a man who has drawn half the world
" MERELY A POSTMAN "
Sir Henniker Heat on said : " One thought saves
me from being utterly abashed at this great repre-
sentative gathering. It is the belief that I am merely
a letter-carrier or postman, and from the kindly light
in your eyes I see you are going to ' tip the postman '
for bringing you letters of love from the millions of
our brothers and cousins beyond the seas, who have
now free, untaxed, unimpeded postal communication
with the Mother Country.
" If the British Government will spend as much
money in electrical communications as she did in
mail subsidies seventy years ago we can have penny-
a-word cables to our most distant possessions.
' Let us take warning by the Tower of Babel,
and teach the workers in our great fabric of Empire
to converse freely it cannot be too freely ; and
electricity is the heaven-sent agency which has been
placed at our disposal.
" Let us adopt the formula, ' Twelve words for
a shilling.' With this simple incantation we can
transform the Empire, quadruple its resources, mul-
tiply its strength, fill the National Exchequer, and make
the face of the poor toiler radiant with happiness."
During the evening the following letter was read
from Mr Herbert Samuel :
LETTER FROM THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL
DEAR LORD CURZON, I greatly regret that, being
confined to my room by doctor's orders, I cannot be
present to-night at the gathering which will be held
under the presidency of the Lord Mayor of London,
to pay fitting recognition to Sir Henniker Heaton
for his lifelong service to postal reform.
As the latest of the long line of Postmasters-General
whom he has harassed so efncientlv and with so much
246 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
advantage to them and to the public, I should like
to pay my tribute of thanks for his many suggestions,
large and small, possible and impossible. Why should
not the ox be grateful to the goad if it causes him the
better to plough the field ?
On the occasion of Sir John's 6and birthday he
was good enough to send me a list of 62 desirable
postal reforms. Several of them have since been
carried into effect, with a few more which had escaped
even his searching eye. But I am quite convinced
that he will soon fill the gaps again, and we all hope
to read on later birthday anniversaries fresh lists
of seventy and of eighty changes which a truly pro-
gressive Post Office would hasten to adopt for the
In the hope that till those days, and later, he
may enjoy his new honours, I ask leave for my
Department and myself to join in the national mani-
festation of gratitude which is rightly being paid to
a great and tireless reformer.
The successful organization was due to the
untiring energies of Lord Blyth, who devoted himself
whole-heartedly to the task of giving his old friend the
best and warmest of welcomes in the best and warmest
of ways. He was ably seconded by Mr Freeman
Murray, who undertook the duties of Honorary
Secretary for his friend H. H.
July 20th, 1912.
MY DEAR LORD BLYTH,
The last act of the great drama is finished
and it remains for me to try to say to you that I feel
it utterly impossible to express my gratitude. I did
not think it possible for any man to work as you have
done, so generously, so unceasingly for your friend,
night and day for months, without reward in order
to do me honour. It is true that I suffered a good
deal from official classes backed up by powerful
politicians who made extraordinary efforts to prevent
our carrying great reforms. It was a great and long-
continued struggle, lasting over a quarter of a century.
Your share in it, especially the Anglo-American post,
is one of the most interesting chapters. However,
I am, through your noble and unselfish efforts, amply
rewarded, and in the years left me I trust I shall have
an opportunity of showing my deep gratitude, and I
hope you will call upon me in any trouble. We have
learnt not to flatter each other, but like trusty warriors
to defend each other. I pray for health and peace
for you and yours in the days and hours to come.
Your attached friend,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
REQUIESCAT IN PACE
IN the beautiful city of Geneva, lies at peace the
great Postal Reformer, Sir John Henniker
His restless spirit has found rest at last,
and he who in time of peace fought so valiantly the
battles of his fellow-men may now sleep undisturbed
by sound of cannon and clash of arms.
" To make communication as easy as speech
and as free as air " was his life's ideal, and yet when
he lay within the shadow of death communication
with his own family was denied him. Telegraph lines
that should have brought him loving messages were
blocked with news of bloodshed and battle ; trains that
should have carried his anxious family swiftly towards
him were filled with troops hurrying to the Front.
Sir John was among the English visitors in Carlsbad
when War was declared. On September 2nd, 1914,
with a party of other non-combatants, he left
Carlsbad on the return journey to England which,
alas, he was destined never to reach.
CARLSBAD, BOHEMIA, AUSTRIA
To WHOM IT MAY CONCERN :
I, George Platt Waller, Jr., American Vice and
Deputy Consul at Carlsbad, do hereby certify that
(KARLSBAD ? BOHEMIA AUSTRIA.^
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN :
I, George Platt Waller Jr, American Vice and Deputy
Consul at Karlsbad, do hereby certify that the bearer of
this document Sir Her.niker Heaton, Baronet, former Postmaster
General of Engladd, and Member of Parliament for many years
is a British Subject, of great distinctionknd worldwide fame.
As under the present distressing circumstances, the
American Consulate has been requested to extend its good
offices to the British Subjects, II hereby bespeak for
Sir Henniker Heaton, any and all aid that it may be possible
to extend under your jurisdiction in expediting his peaceful
and speedy progress on his lawful occasions, both as a British
Subject and as a Benefactor of the Human Race.
American Vice & Deputy Consul.
Given this 31st day of August 1914.
REQUIESCAT IN PACE 249
the bearer of this document Sir Henniker Heaton,
Baronet, former Postmaster-General of England, and
Member of Parliament for many years, is a British
subject, of great distinction and world-wide fame.
As under the present distressing circumstances,
the American Consulate has been requested to extend
its good offices to the British Subjects, I hereby be-
speak, for Sir Henniker Heaton, any and all aid that
it may be possible to extend under your jurisdiction
in expediting this peaceful and speedy progress on
his lawful occasions, both as a British Subject and as
a Benefactor of the Human Race.
GEORGE PLATT WALLER, JR.,
American Vice and Deputy Consul
Given this 3ist day of August, 1914.
Sir John was in bad health when he left Carlsbad,
and on the journey home he was greatly agitated by
the news of the " victorious German armies " which
was circulated abroad. He was taken seriously ill
whilst travelling, and only succeeded in reaching
Geneva. For three days he lay unconscious, and
died on the morning of September 8th, 1914.
Words are inadequate to describe the kindness
and sympathy of Lord Westbury, who did all for his
friend that was humanly possible all indeed that
the nearest relative could have done to obtain the
best advice for Sir John while life lasted, and, when
the end was approaching, to soften the blow to Lady
Heaton as gently and considerately as might be.
When all hope was over, he wrote :
DEAR LADY HEATON,
This is a most painful letter for me to have to
write to you but I feel I must supplement my two
250 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
telegrams (which I hope you have received) with
some details of your dear husband's illness ; and, as
it is quite uncertain when we may be able to leave, it
is right that you should have some news as soon as
possible. For some ten days before we left Carlsbad,
on 2nd Sept., he took up his residence at my hotel
in order to have the benefit of the services of my
valet, and I naturally saw a great deal of him as we
always had our evening meal together. He talked
to me a great deal, and was constantly looking forward
to seeing his " dear little wife," and so far as I could
judge he was far better in general health on the eve
of our departure than he had been during the whole
of his stay at Carlsbad ; he was naturally very much
upset at England going to war, and very much excited
when news of disasters kept pouring in. We left in
a special train for the Swiss frontier on 2nd Sept.
and he and I occupied a first-class coupe and he bore
the journey to the frontier exceedingly well, although
he was perhaps rather imprudent in the matter of
diet, and I often congratulated him on his ability to
eat the unpalatable provisions we had to consume ;
at the Swiss frontier we found a special train ready
to bring us to Geneva, and before changing trains at
4 a.m. I took care to see that he was properly wrapped
up, and he was most cheerful and said that he had
got on a very warm undergarment that " his dear
little wife " had specially provided for him. I put
him in the Swiss train, and then had to leave him as
I was very busy making arrangements with Cook's
agent on various matters connected with a lot of
indigent English people for whom I had funds, and
I also had to send several telegrams connected with
our possible departure from here to the British Minister
at Berne and the British Ambassador at Paris. I
also had to arrange with passengers in various parts
of the train about guaranteeing the cost of special
from Geneva to England, etc. etc., the consequence
REQUIESCAT IN PACE 251
being that I did not see him for about a couple of
hours . Just before reaching Zurich about 6.30 a.m.
my valet came to tell me that Sir Henniker had violent
pains in his stomach and that Sir Benjamin Franklin
(a distinguished retired Surgeon-General) was looking
after him. I immediately went to him and found him
in great agony. On arrival at Zurich we telegraphed
to Berne (the next place we stopped at) for a doctor to
bring some morphia and other remedies down to
the station ; at Berne the doctor appeared, but before
anything could be done the train was hurried off,
and the doctor had to jump down when the train was
moving and all he could do was to give me the address of
a doctor at Geneva. He was somewhat easier between
Berne and Geneva and I was in hopes that the gastric
symptoms were improving. Within 5 minutes of
his arrival at Geneva station he was in this hotel,
and in another five minutes (before he had time to
undress) he was in the doctor's hands ; this doctor,
who could not speak English, informed me that he was
suffering from an acute gastric attack and he pre-
scribed accordingly. Some two hours afterwards my
valet came to tell me that Sir Henniker was not feeling
any relief and that he insisted upon having a doctor
who could speak English*. Sir Benjamin Franklin and I
decided to call in a Professor Major who was strongly
recommended to us. By the time he arrived your
poor husband was practically unable to answer any
questions, and Professor Major admitted that under
the circumstances he could make no attempt to diagnose
the case. A few hours later, Mrs Barton, 1 an English
lady living at Geneva, whom I have known for many
years, came to see me and strongly recommended
that a Professor Girard, whom she described as by
far the cleverest medical man in Switzerland, should
be sent for ; and I have ascertained since beyond
1 Mrs Barton is a daughter of the late Sir Robert Peel, and her husband
was for many years British Consul at Geneva.
252 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
doubt that Professor Girard fully deserves such a
He came and had a long consultation with the 3
doctors and Sir Benjamin Franklin and quite con-
vinced them that the gastric attack was merely an
incident, and that the real trouble was a cerebral
one caused by an aneurism, and that there was scarcely
any hope after taking into consideration your poor
husband's age and the fact that he had suffered from
a stroke before ; and he advised that the most humane
thing to do was to leave him quietly in his bed in the
hope that nature would come to his assistance ; in
this Sir Benjamin and I quite agreed. He was quite
unconscious and suffering no pain and he has remained
so ever since. Last night his temperature went up
suddenly to 106 and we feared the worst ; this morning
at 9 a.m. Dr Girard came again with the other doc-
tors, and I am grieved to say that they all pronounced
that the case was hopeless, and I fear I shall have to
send you a final telegram within less than twenty-
four hours. I can assure you that everything possible
has been done for him, and Sir Benjamin Franklin
has been a tower of strength, and I really don't know
what I could have done without his help. Of course
I will remain until the end and you can rely upon my
acting as I should do in the case of any near relation
of my own. I will come to see you on my return
home and I will bring back all his papers and belongings.
Sir Henniker was much beloved by all his Carlsbad
friends and his illness is a great shock to many of
them who have accompanied him from Carlsbad. I
am very very sorry for you and his family.
Believe me with much sympathy,
The telegrams sent by Lord Westbury announcing
the end did not reach Lady Henniker Heaton for some
REQUIESCAT IN PACE 253
days, and it was from the morning papers that she
first learnt of her irreparable loss.
Later, Lady Henniker Heaton received a letter
from Mr Oswald Cheeke who was with Sir John at
the end. In this letter there was given to Lady
Henniker Heaton the supreme consolation of a know-
ledge of the Love that is stronger than Death.
Sir John had lain unconscious for three days ;
as the end was seen to be imminent, Mr Cheeke spoke
to Sir John saying he was writing to Lady Henniker
Heaton, but he could not succeed in rousing him.
Mr Cheeke then bent down and spoke Lady Henniker
Heaton's Christian name " Rose." The beloved name
alone could break through the silence and pierce
through the deepening shadows of death. Sir John
raised his head to speak his last word " Love " and
fell into a deep calm sleep in which his spirit passed
" I know that death is nothing but a shadow,
That nothing ever dies.
I seem to see Love clasping Life triumphant
With glory in his eyes." E. W.
254 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Telegram from His Majesty King George to
J. Henniker Heat on (eldest son) :
The King has heard wi,th much regret of the death
of Sir John Henniker Heaton, and desires me to convey
to you the expression of his sympathy with you and
with Lady Henniker Heaton in your sorrow.
A MORNING WITH THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL
A popular article was written in 1907 by H. H. in the "Nineteenth
Century" in order to expose the ''red-tape" methods of the Post
Office. Its publication met with so much appreciation and amuse-
ment that it is here reprinted.
WE all form mental pictures of unseen
potent individualities who influence our
lives and fortunes. In these unvarnished
pages I propose to give the popular
notion of the Postmaster-General at work. It would
be unfair to accuse me of malicious caricature and
exaggeration. I am not, be it distinctly under-
stood, giving my personal impressions of the distin-
guished holder of the great office of Magister Nuntiorum.
I do not paint him as he appears to his numerous
friends, an able, conscientious, amiable man ; but
such as he must loom before the general public who
only know him through his replies to their complaints,
and his official attitude to the reforms they have at
heart. He may do well to ponder the picture, un-
flattering as it seems.
" O, wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us ! "
The Postmaster-General of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland has taken his seat in his
office at St Martin's-le-Grand and the Secretary enters,
258 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
while a huge basket of letters is borne in by a sturdy
THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL : It is satisfactory to
know that the annual profits of the British Post Office
exceed five millions sterling. It has occurred to me
to ask you for a list of the requirements and grievances
of the public.
THE SECRETARY : We have been forced to grant
over fifty so-called reforms during the past twenty
years. What is the result ? Here are a bundle of
letters asking for at least fifty more !
P.M.-GEN. : What is that in your hand ?
SEC. : Another long lecture from the hon. member
for Canterbury, urging us to institute universal penny
postage, and to purchase the cables for the State.
He says there is intense feeling in commercial circles
on both subjects, and declares that the attitude of
the department will sooner or later be recognized as
one of criminal neglect ; that in this crisis in our
economic history the Post Office is strangling every
nascent industry, and facilitating foreign competition ;
that we resemble the savages in the Pacific who cut
down trees for the sake of the fruit, etc., etc.
P.M.-GEN. : That will do I will reply to that
myself. Give it me. Thank you. He will send our
response to ' The Times " ; and your inexorable
head-masterly style would be meat and drink to those
SEC. : Here are two letters on which action should
be taken. They reveal a gross evasion of the law.
A New York lady says that all letters sent to her in
Canada from England are redirected to her in the
United States without extra charge. It is one penny
postage from Canada to the United States, so that she
enjoys penny postage from Great Britain to New
Then again here is a letter from Mr George Marples
of Omaha saying that he sends his letters for England
to his Canadian house and they are redirected to
England free of extra charge, so he enjoys penny
postage to England.
P.M.-GEN. : This is an awful state of affairs, but
I am afraid we are powerless. I believe those flippant
Americans would maintain this abuse as an excellent
joke ; and the Canadian Post Office would laugh the
EXPRESS LETTERS, ETC.
SEC. : Here is a closely reasoned letter urging
that the time has arrived for a final and necessary
development of the express delivery service of letters
in London and large cities. The correspondent sends
a specimen of an express delivery stamp, threepence
in value, to be sold at every post office. Any letter
posted bearing this stamp will be despatched by a
bicycle rider immediately on receipt at the office of
delivery on any day of the week up to a late hour.
The bicycle riders would leave the great post offices
in the S.E., S.W., E.C., and the other dictricts every
hour. The writer estimates that the revenue will be
increased by a million sterling per annum. Every
merchant and person of means will carry these special
delivery stamps with him.
P.M.-GEN. : Inform the writer that I will look
into the matter ; but it would take considerable time
to carry out such a reform. I remember I have
before me also a suggestion also that the time has
260 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
arrived for expediting delivery of the mails in large
towns by establishing three classes of mail matter :
i. Letters and post-cards ; 2. Newspapers; 3. Parcels;
which respectively should be delivered by first, second,
and third-class postmen, priority in delivery being given
to the first class.
SEC. : A writer from York asks that cartes ttU-
grammes should be introduced i.e. correspondence
should be transmitted from one part of a city to
another through pneumatic tubes at a special rate.
P.M. -GEN. : Let him wait for a perfecting of the
express system : I don't approve of these underground
SEC. : Here is a letter from a Glasgow man saying
his letters are not delivered until 8 o'clock, whereas
he got them twenty years ago at 7.30 a.m., before he
went to business, and now he sometimes does not get
his letters until night time. He has been told that
the postal system generally has increased so much
that individuals must put up with the inconvenience.
He does not think this reply satisfactory.
P.M.-GEN. : Just acknowledge his letter. You
cannot satisfy that type of mind. At least he gets
more time for digesting breakfast, besides half an
hour's respite from bad news.
SEC. : A querulous person complains that " though
living in the heart of London, I never get any letters
here, by any chance, until a quarter-past eight in the
morning, and frequently the last post, due at 9 p.m.,
is not delivered until 10 p.m. As you are aware, there
is no delivery of letters on Sunday ; which puts any-
one like myself, who has a large correspondence with
the Continent, to great inconvenience ; there is no
proper outgoing mail to the provinces on that day ;
I have to pay a penny extra in order to send a foreign
letter on the same day by the night mails, and even so
I have to go, or to send, to Central District offices .
Worse than all this, and a positive outrage upon six
millions of Londoners, it is impossible to have a letter
delivered on Sunday at a less cost than lod. This
sum I have frequently paid during the last few months,
owing to serious sickness in my family. It is all
very well to say that I can use the telegraph, if away ;
but a telegram costs 6d. and you cannot possibly say
in a telegram what you may wish to say in a letter.
" There is no metropolis in the world that is so
shamefully served in the matter of letters, especially
in the matter of this outrageous Sunday interdict,
P.M. -GEN. : This is one who would set fire to the
Post Office to roast his eggs. Snub him.
WRONGS WITHOUT REMEDY
SEC. : Now we have numerous attempts to make
you pay for accidents to postal packets during trans-
mission. The favourite argument seems to be that,
since a common carrier is liable for loss or injury of
goods entrusted to him, you ought to be. They
forget you are not a common carrier, but a State
official, protected from liability by Act of Parliament.
P.M.-GEN. : The total liability for loss and damage
would be but a small portion of my annual profit,
but I cannot disobey an Act of Parliament.
SEC. : Here is our answer to a claim for some postage
stamps stolen by a postman :
262 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
GENERAL POST OFFICE, LONDON,
GENTLEMEN, I am directed by the Postmaster-
General to refer to your communication of the 2gth
ultimo on the subject of an unregistered letter addressed
to you by Mrs G. Gregson, Warden Law, Houghton-
le-Spring, posted on the ist of June last, which was
found, minus 55. postage stamps enclosed by the
sender, in the possession of a postman who was arrested
on the 22nd of June last for stealing letters.
The Postmaster-General regrets to say that he
has unfortunately little doubt that the missing postage
stamps were stolen by the postman in question. But,
as you are aware, he is by law exempt from liability
in respect of the loss of any postal packet ; and he only
accepts liability in respect of postal packets (other
than those sent by Parcel Post) when they have been
The Postmaster-General is sorry for the loss sus-
tained by your customer ; but, as she neglected to
avail herself of the system of registration, he is pre-
cluded from enter taming any claim for compensation.
I am, gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
P.M. -GEN. : An excellent letter, mild yet cogent.
How is it these people will not take the caution to
SEC. : Their flimsy pretence is that the charge for
registration, twopence, is too high.
P.M.-GEN. : Ha, ha !
SEC. : Ho, ho, ho ! The Rev. C. F. Roberts,
Abergele, North Wales, complains that a friend sent
him from Madeira some embroidery, value i, ios.,
unregistered, and that the parcel was delivered soaking
wet, having come in contact with port wine. The
parcel was opened in the presence of the postman and
a form filled up noting the condition of the contents
The Post Office refused compensation.
P.M.-GEN. : Write offering to dry the lace for him.
If discoloured, it will appear antique, and be of more
value. As to the smell of wine, none but a rabid
teetotaller could complain of that.
SEC. : Here is another :
LONDON : June iSth.
SIR, We are large manufacturers of typewriting
machines. We sent one of these machines carefully
packed to a customer. We insured it and paid a
special extra fee for insurance. The machine arrived
broken, and we have had to compensate the owner.
Will you please after examining into the case and
ascertaining the truth send us i, us. 6d.
F. & Co.
One of our able officials, suppressing his natural
indignation, has written this reply :
I am directed by the Postmaster-General to state
that you will see on p. 69 of the " Post Office Guide "
that he is relieved from all responsibility even had he
been satisfied that the parcel was properly packed,
and no claim for compensation can be entertained.
P.M.-GEN. : A calm and dignified rebuke.
SEC. : The next is simply outrageous ; I trust
it may not make you feel unwell : such letters some-
times upset my assistants so seriously that I have to
give them a week's leave.
264 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
I write to ask why should the Post Office not be
liable just the same as any other common carrier
for all goods lost or stolen while being carried. It's
too ridiculous that a taxpayer should both suffer
from democrat confiscation and the remains of Norman
tyranny. If any private person ran the Post Office,
would they be exempted ? And even if the Post
Office was blameless, would not the interest of the
taxpayer be to get the benefit of the principle of
mutual insurance against loss ? Of all people the
Government should be the easiest, not the hardest,
to make liable for any loss they are connected with.
P.M. -GEN. : Fortunately I am specially protected
by Act of Parliament from against such rapacity.
No doubt if Carter Paterson, or some other carrying
firm attempted to protect themselves in this manner
the public would desert them, and decline to deal
any longer with them. But I enjoy a monopoly, and
these grumblers should attack that, not me.
SEC. : You may remember that at our last inter-
view I presented you with some thousands of reply-
paid telegraph forms on each of which the public
had paid sixpence or more. Our rule is not to allow
them to be used after two months have elapsed, and
to refuse to return the money to sender or receiver.
The letter in my hand is from the Member of Parlia-
ment whom I named. He has a sort of talent for
inventing postal grievances, which he brings the
public to believe they are suffering from ; and under
our earliest Postmaster-General he might have been
in danger of the Tower. Nothing, as you will observe,
is too trivial to escape his censure :
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
MY DEAR POSTMASTER-GENERAL, I have to thank
you for a somewhat cynical memorandum defending
official morality on the subject of delayed telegram
It does not place the Post Office in a more dignified
position. One is naturally prejudiced against any
debtor who pleads the Statutes of Limitation to
defeat honest claims ; and here the debtor is an
millionaire department eluding the return of sixpence.
My view is that these reply forms should be avail-
able for at least twelve months, and after that period
the money should be given back to the sender of the
original message without limit of time. This is
common honesty. Your sense of humour will, how-
ever, probably be alive to the absurdity of multiplying
" checks " devised, like the elaborate machinery on
Rob Roy's sporran, to safeguard a " saxpence " or
two. I am, your obedient servant,
J. HENNIKER HEATON.
P.S. Since writing the above a friend has sent
me the following note :
20 HANOVER SQUARE, LONDON,
April 2jth, 1905.
The enclosed reply telegraph form represents six-
pence which the Post Office has been battening on
for some months, and now I find, owing to an absolutely
irrational rule of being only valuable for two months,
it has become useless. It is impossible to imagine
there can be any honest or sane reason for such a
rule at any rate, one that would appeal to any body
of business men. It is almost a worse swindle than
the Postal Order, one which you helped to get rid of,
for in this the post authorities forfeit the money
absolutely. It seems absurd to have two franked
telegraph forms. Why should not they simply enclose
266 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
one of their ordinary stamped (sixpenny) forms ?
This would save a considerable sum and lots of trouble.
Yours very sincerely,
J. Y. W. MACALISTER.
P.M. -GEN. : You may reply to this. We must
be careful how we treat a Member of Parliament.
Do not give way one inch. We cannot resist his
suggestions when public opinion is stirred. But it
never is over these small matters. Refuse to budge,
but avoid acerbity, as far as possible : in any case
SEC. : " Dublin " asks " That the tariff of charges
for the transmission of telegrams shall be freed of
such anomalies as have been exposed e.g. ironworks
as one word, steel works as two words, or 52 Leonards-
on-Sea as one word and Charing Cross as two words."
It is also demanded that the names of all places
in the United Kingdom should be charged as one
" Crouch End " asks that the name of that place
shall be charged as one word and inquires why Charing
Cross should be charged as two words, and St Pancras
as one word in a telegram. ' Hastings " complains
that he was charged two words for N.B., whereas
Scotland with four times more letters is charged as
one word. Another writer complains that s.s. was
charged as two words, but Steamship as one word.
Another that H.M.S. be charged as one word for the
benefit of officers and men. There seems to be con-
siderable feeling about the charge for H.M.S., though
here again the amount at stake is but a penny ! Here
is a letter on the subject :
I take the opportunity of suggesting the iniquity
as it seems to me of the Post Office charging every
bluejacket and every member of the public the letters
H.M.S. as three words in a telegram. I should have
thought there should have been a symbol counting
as one word to mean His Majesty's Ship. I believe
the cable companies do the same, but am not certain,
but it leads to words like battleship, cruiser, etc.,
being substituted for the proper title H.M.S. Seeing
that four figures count as one word, it would not be
a great stretch to treat the three letters H.M.S. as
P.M. -GEN. : Assure the writer that anything touch-
ing the happiness of the British sailor is peculiarly
interesting to me ; but I fear that the state of tele-
graphic revenue will not yet allow of this concession.
SEC. : Here are documents asserting that :
(a) Freedom of communication by cable is one
of the most vital strategic interests of the Empire,
and, as such, ought not to be dependent on the policy
of private companies. It is in the highest degree
expedient to encourage, cheapen, and facilitate com-
munication by means of the electric cable between
the several portions of the Empire. The rates charged
by the cable companies, for the transmission of
messages are, generally speaking, excessive and in
some cases prohibitive. The foreign and Colonial
trade of the United Kingdom is absolutely dependent
on the free use of the cables. The British Government
if possible with the co-operation of the chief Colonial
Governments should acquire the rights and property
of the cable companies at a valuation (on their present
268 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
market value) and work the cables, at the lowest
remunerative rates, with a view to the utmost possible
employment of the wires by day and night for the
benefit of all her Majesty's subjects.
(b) That, since the charge for telegrams in both
France and England does not exceed a halfpenny per
word, the rate from England to France should be
one penny per word, instead of twopence per word
as at present. That telegrams should be sent also
to Belgium, Holland, and Germany for a penny per
word, and reductions in rate made in the case of Egypt
and other countries.
(c) That the cost of a telephone message between
London and Paris be reduced to 2s. 6d. for three
minutes' conversation, instead of 8s. as at present.
One person observes that it is more expensive to
speak through the London-Paris telephone than to
utter libels and slanders at a public meeting.
Here are letters from members of the public
cormorants asking that the names and addressee
not exceeding eight words in all of the sender and
addressee of a telegram should be transmitted free ;
and that twenty words in place of twelve words shall
be sent for sixpence.
P.M. -GEN. : Point out that we lose heavily on
telegraphs ; but do not explain why that it is chiefly
because we bought them so dear, and have to pay
heavy interest that would be turned against us.
SEC. : Now for a halfpenny grievance :
SIR, You will confer a great favour on the com-
munity at trifling cost to the department, and remove
a constant source of irritation and annoyance, by
ordering that all official post cards shall be sold at
their face value that is, a halfpenny each, in place
of three farthings. You now charge a penny for a
post card ; why not, therefore, a halfpenny for a
halfpenny post card ? The richest Post Office in the
world should be above wringing farthings from the
poor ; and, if it must differ from other Post Offices
(as it does in this matter), let it be in the direction of
liberality. England is the only country in the world
that charges more than face value for post cards.
At Gibraltar I can buy halfpenny post cards for
a halfpenny each. In that out-of-the-way country,
Guatemala, post cards are sold at their face value.
P.M. -GEN. : Tell the correspondent I regret I
cannot afford to sacrifice the halfpence.
SEC. : Ever since we gave the public a halfpenny
post card (the " letter of the poor ") we have been
badgered on the subject of the rules regarding them.
What are we to say to this ?
SIR, I beg to ask whether your attention has been
directed to the fines imposed on the public for affixing
stamps on post cards on the back in place of the address
side ; whether there is any justification for your
officers obliterating with stamping machines the
stamps so affixed in addition to fining the receivers
of the post cards ; under what rule or postal regulation
fines are imposed for stamps so wrongly affixed ; and
whether there is in the rules any penalty for affixing
stamps on the backs of letters in place of the address
side. Yours truly,
270 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
P.M.-GEN. : Write telling this fellow that we all
hate halfpenny matter, and that the stamp must be
affixed on the address side. Tell him, too, that I do
not propose to alter the rule. Put our reason obscurely,
but the decision emphatically. No penalty is imposed
for affixing stamps to the backs of letters ; but I do
not propose to alter the rule.
SEC. : What about this ?
August i^th, 1906.
SIR, Yesterday morning (before I was down) my
servant took in five post cards each bearing a penny
stamp on the back in place of the address, and I had
to pay is. 3d. for them.
They were sent me by the Maire oj Trtyort, and I
should imagine that this abominable surcharge does
not arise in the French Post Office, or surely he would
know of the irregularity.
H. H. W.
P.M.-GEN. : Inform this correspondent that the
charge of 3d. on each post card represented double the
deficient postage at the letter rate, and was therefore
rightly collected on each card. I do not recognize
the penny on the back of each card.
SEC. : Now comes a discontented stationer.
SIR, Your department charges me 20 to 30 per
cent above cost price for printing halfpenny stamps
on " private post cards " sent to them for impression.
I save them the trouble and expense of supplying me
with gummed and perforated halfpenny stamps by
forwarding 100,000 post cards for the impression. I
ask that the charge be abolished.
P.M.-GEN. : Tell this correspondent I cannot
afford to comply with his request. Hint indirectly
that we regard the " private " post card as a specially
odious and illegitimate missive.
SEC. : Listen to this ungrateful man :
SIR, You charge me 2s. for a book of stamps of
the value of is. njd. I beg to enclose you a similar
book of stamps issued in Switzerland with twenty-
four stamps for twenty-four pence or the equivalent.
Why not charge face value as in Switzerland, where
the people are not so rich as in England ?
P.M.-GEN. : Tell the correspondent I cannot afford
it. Do not let out anything about our total profits
SEC. : They even complain of the newspaper
rates. Hear this :
SIR, I beg to enclose two newspaper wrappers,
one from New Zealand on which was a penny stamp,
and the other to New Zealand containing an illustrated
paper of exactly the same weight, and for which I
am charged 3jd. Why has a New Zealander to pay
to England less than a third of the price I have to pay
for a similar newspaper from England to Wellington
(N.Z.) ? Yours faithfully,
P.M.-GEN. : Inform this correspondent that I
cannot see my way to make any alteration in the
272 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
charge. Give no reasons. This complaint is as un-
reasonable as another which has reached me namely,
that the cost of postage of the " Nineteenth Century "
to Canada is one penny, but that we charge 3d. for
sending it to any part of England. From a Post
Office point of view the colonists are spoilt children.
SEC. : A number of letters are from country people
asking that letter-boxes be attached to all through
trains, and even to tram-cars on the principal lines.
Here is one of them :
With reference to the point I raised of a travelling
post office on the mail train. If we could send off
letters by the 2.20 p.m. train to the Continent we
should save a day on the passage between London,
Switzerland, Italy, and Southern France. It would
mean that anyone writing to me in Lucerne and
posting his letter on the train at six o'clock in the
morning in the summer would secure my receiving it
the next morning. I could then reply the same day
and send my letter by the 2.20 p.m. mail train, and he
would receive my reply on the morning after. If my
letter had to wait till the next service it could not be
delivered in Lucerne till one day later.
P.M. -GEN. : Point out that this would involve an
expenditure of at least eight eenpence for each " travel-
ling " letter-box, and regret that I cannot see my
way to face this.
Sec. : We have repeatedly received the following
SIR, It would be a great convenience to the public
to send the money with the postal or telegraph Money
Order to the residence of the person to whom it is
addressed. They do this, to the great convenience of
the public, especially tradesmen, in India, Germany,
and other countries. Fourteen million journeys to
the post offices would be saved every year. How
much better it would be for one postman to deliver
two hundred Money Orders than for two hundred,
individuals to walk to the post offices to get the money.
The German system, too, is a guarantee that the
money is safely delivered to the right person, while
thousands of hours of valuable time are saved to the
people. Yours truly,
A Manchester merchant begs :
That the mandat-carte system so successful and
profitable on the Continent shall be brought into
operation in this country the money being delivered
with the mandat at the payee's residence.
P.M.-GEN. : This is absurd. If a man is too im-
portant to go to a post office for his money, let him
send a clerk. They may be bold enough to trust to
the letter-carrier's honesty in Germany and elsewhere ;
we shall not be so foolhardy. But do not, of course,
refer to the second reason.
SEC. : Another complainant requires that the
charges on inland telegraph Money Orders should
be reduced and the money sent with the order to
the residence of the receiver as in Switzerland. A
prominent Member of Parliament writes that he sent
is. id. for a magazine, and he had to pay is. 5d. for
the telegram in addition.
P.M.-GEN. : Say this must have been an emergency
which could not often recur.
SEC. : Here are nearly a hundred letters from
people who complain that we will not redirect their
correspondence because they were living in boarding-
274 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
houses or lodgings. They are a lot of people mostly
without votes, and of no importance, and we therefore
do not see why we should give them the facilities they
desire. I have drawn up and printed a letter to answer
all such complaints as the one I will read, which is
from some medical man :
HARLEY STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE, W.
SIR, I have moved to in the same postal
district. As my private address has, unfortunately,
got on to the Parliamentary register, people will
direct letters to my old address, and I am quite helpless
to prevent their doing so. This involves delay, and
sometimes very serious inconvenience.
Would you oblige me by drawing the attention of
the Postmaster-General to the grievance, and ask
that lodgers may be placed on the same footing as
Yours very faithfully,
J. F. L.
P.M. -GEN. : Inform the correspondent civilly that
his request cannot be granted.
SEC. : Here are numerous letters from persons
complaining that their cross-country posts are deplor-
ably deficient, and arranged so badly that the " Times "
or " Daily Mail " reaches Paris before it gets to their
homes in Dorchester and other places.
P.M.-GEN. : Send the usual official answers. They
must live in some place where our mailing arrangements
will be more satisfactory to them.
SEC. : Some fussy man writes :
SIR, I enclose a prospectus just issued for a motor
mail coach company, in which it is stated that each
motor mail coach will produce a profit of 350 per
annum to the contractor. Would it not be possible
to have these vans made at Woolwich Arsenal and
driven by Post Office officials or soldiers ? The Post
Office has already a staff of highly skilled mechanics
in its engineering department.
P.M.-GEN. : If the Post Office were a private
business of course I would do this. Tell the writer
that I will give the matter careful consideration.
But it would involve such a disturbance of well-settled
routine that I see little hope of adopting it.
SEC. : A writer asks that registered benefit societies
should be permitted to open current accounts at the
Post Office Savings Banks.
P.M.-GEN. : I will consider this. Their money
cannot harm us.
SEC. : Someone alleges that the late Sir W.
Harcourt thought that all Post Office expenditure
for sites and buildings should be carried to a capital
account and spread over several years instead of
being defrayed out of current revenue.
P.M.-GEN. : He did ; but, though a great man,
he was never Postmaster-General.
SEC. : Somebody at Norwich begs that the " cash
on delivery " system should be introduced.
P.M.-GEN. : Tell him it is feared the stores would
flood the country with goods and ruin local shop-
keepers. I do not myself fear it, but you are not
to reveal that.
SEC. : One from Edinburgh begs that the com-
mission on foreign and colonial Money Orders should
be reduced. He points out that from Paris to London
a penny is charged for commission on a five shilling
276 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
order by the French Post Office ; but from London to
Paris the English Post Office charges fourpence for
commission on a five shilling Money Order.
P.M.-GEN. : Tell him I am of opinion that four-
pence is a fair charge for such a convenience. These
Scots are very keen to save a bawbee. Hint very
delicately that it is open to him to reside for the future
SEC. : A colonist thinks that the parcel rates to
the Colonies should be made uniform and greatly
reduced. There are thirty-eight different rates to
the seventy-four countries in the list based on no
common principle, the charges being in most cases
higher to our Colonies than to foreign countries.
P.M.-GEN. : The Post Office is primarily a letter-
carrying agency, and senders of parcels are not entitled
to dictate our arrangements. In my opinion the
Colonial Parcel Post tariff is a model of symmetry
SEC. : A peremptory person demands that the
repeated applications of the Australasian and other
Colonies for an exchange of Postal Orders between
Great Britain and her dependencies should be immedi-
ately complied with.
P.M.-GEN. : Colonial ideas are not necessarily to
prevail here. Did they not try to force Preference
on us ? Tell him that of all the wild and visionary
Imperialistic schemes no, say merely that there are
grave objections to his proposal.
SEC. : A philatelic collector states that the present
illegible, indistinct, and smudgy postmarks on letters
cause general dissatisfaction. The clean and distinct
American postmarking machine should, therefore, be
introduced in the British postal service.
P.M. -GEN. : These marks give us satisfaction, for
they render it more difficult to prove delay in trans-
mission. But say that the American machines are
being slowly introduced, and will in the course of a
generation no, of a few years be universal.
SEC. : A publisher asks that the rules requiring a
periodical, in order to pass as a " registered newspaper,"
to be published at intervals not exceeding seven days,
and to contain a certain proportion of news and
articles of a given character should be abolished, so
that such magazines as the " Nineteenth Century "
should no longer be excluded from the advantages
of the newspaper postage. He says that a paper
weighing 2j pounds goes through the post for a half-
penny, and a magazine the same weight is charged 8|d.
P.M.-GEN. : My hands are tied by Act of Parlia-
ment. But personally I regard this excess charge on
reviews and magazines as a tax on luxuries, and there-
SEC. : A person asks that the fine for insufficient
postage shall not exceed the deficiency ; that a half-
penny fine, in addition to the deficient postage, shall
be the maximum for an inland and a penny for a
P.M.-GEN. : No doubt the sender should be fined,
not the receiver ; but we cannot get at the former.
Our view is, that the more severely we punish the
unlucky addressee, the more likely he is to revenge
himself on the sender, and cure that individual of the
habit of neglecting to pay postage.
SEC. : A clergyman asks that the charge for the
registration of a letter should not exceed a penny.
He says that he saves a penny by posting unstamped
all letters requiring care, but he puts two penny
278 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
stamps inside each. The Post Office takes very great
care of these letters more care than if they were
P.M.-GEN. : He is not ashamed to cheat the revenue,
and does not deserve an answer. Twopence will be
the charge while I am in office.
SEC. : Two traders request that the minimum charge
for the sample post should be a halfpenny for two
ounces a change greatly desired by the trading
public. These firms say that if allowed to put samples
of cloth or linen inside each open envelope they would
increase trade enormously. One firm states that they
would send a million extra samples through the post
every year, and thousands of people would be con-
venienced. Under present rules only paper can be
sent by the halfpenny post.
P.M.-GEN. : These millionaire advertising traders
can well afford the extra halfpenny. Send a regretful
SEC. : A Londoner holds that as the regulations in
the " Postal Guide " are drawn up in the interests of the
department, and are full of pitfalls, the principles of
interpretation being apparently reducible to two
(i) Read the regulations as unfavourably to the public
as possible ; and (2) never alter a decision once pro-
nounced the " Postal Guide " should be revised in the
interests of the public, and the regulations should be
at least grammatical and, if possible, perfectly clear.
P.M.-GEN. : Tell him codes are never light reading,
and necessitate a staff of official interpreters, but that
if he will revise the " Guide " on the lines he indicates
and send me the draft I will
SEC. : Pigeonhole it ! Ho, ho, ho !
P.M.-GEN. : Ha, ha, ha !
SEC. : A mechanic has devised an improved letter
pillar-box, such as that of Austria or Germany, to
P.M.-GEN. : Tell him this scheme has been under
consideration do not say for twenty-five years.
SEC. : We are asked : That an Imperial, and if
possible also an international postage stamp be brought
into use, and that until this is done a room should be
set apart in each of the more important post offices
in the kingdom for the sale of foreign and colonial
stamps (as is done in some of the Colonies), in order
to enable commercial men to send stamps for
Captain Montgomery (Durban) points out the
difficulty he has in sending id., 2d., 3d., or 6d. to
England for replies to letters, or to buy nick-nacks,
newspapers, etc., that are advertised. He strongly
urges that stamps be taken from all parts of the
Empire and exchanged by the British and other post
offices even at a small percentage. It would be an
immense convenience. The Postmaster-General of
New Zealand is in favour of the proposal.
P.M.-GEN. : Our new coupon does away with the
necessity for this to a great extent. Refuse.
SEC. : " Man of Kent " suggests : " That an
Agricultural Parcel Post be established at special low
rates for dairy produce, poultry, vegetables, fruit, etc.,
as a practical contribution towards the relief of the
P.M.-GEN. : Tell him it was suggested in the
eighties. But we cannot favour one section of the
population over another, even if Kent were reduced
to a desert.
SEC. : Here is a heavy batch of letters complaining
280 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
of fines for breaking the halfpenny post regulations.
It is said that only two persons in the world postal
officials profess to understand what is a letter, as
distinguished from a circular letter, and that these
two eminent authorities disagree. Miss W., a Dulwich
Church worker, sent out twenty-one circulars (half-
penny postage) for help for Guy's Hospital. Every
recipient was fined double the letter deficiency, because
the amount of the subscription due was written and
P.M. -GEN. : She defied the regulation, and the
subscribers must pay. Every English subject is pre-
sumed to know postal law.
SEC. : An individual complains that postmen are
now no longer allowed in rural districts to purchase
Postal Orders at the local office for the public and
enclose them in letters left open for the purpose.
Another man complains that the rural postman is
not allowed to take a letter asking for a Postal Order
to his postmaster unless the letter bears a penny stamp.
P.M. -GEN. : Postmen, rural or urban, must obey
me. They are the servants of the department, not
of the public. Refuse.
SEC. : What shall I say in reply to this ?
I venture to bring to your notice a hardship to
anyone buying a Government annuity. That is, the
necessity of first selling out of the Government funds,
at present at great loss. Surely a simple form of
transfer might do instead.
For example, I wish to buy a Government annuity,
but I do not wish in my old age to scramble on less
than seventy pounds a year. That sum I could get
after my next birthday but for this selling out, which
would reduce my capital so much (as the funds now
are) that I must put off the long-wished-for day for
years. And this while every penny I possess is in the
Government's own hands, in the 2,\ per cent Consols
and the Post Office.
Of course, if one could make by selling out, that
would be another story, but I am told that will never
Please forgive me for thus intruding on you.
P.M. -GEN. : Say I am helpless.
SEC. : A correspondent asks if the Postmaster-
General is aware that the Post Office Savings Bank
refuses to take sixpences on deposit. Will he explain
why a depositor is allowed to withdraw 193. 6d. but
is not allowed to deposit I2S. 6d. in the Savings Bank,
and whether he will give instructions to abolish this
P.M. -GEN. : Tell this correspondent that the refusal
of the Post Office Savings Bank to take fractions of a
shilling on deposit is based on the provisions of the
Post Office Savings Bank Act of 1861, and no change
could therefore be made without legislation, which
legislation I do not intend to introduce.
SEC. : Here is a letter from " F." (Forest Gate)
complaining that he cannot put less than one shilling
in the Savings Bank ; and he asks you to reduce the
P.M.-GEN. : Send him the usual negative answer,
whatever it is.
SEC. : A letter from Rev. J. C., clergyman in
Banffshire, complains that he was fined a penny because
a post card sent to him had tinsel on it.
P.M.-GEN. : He ought to be fined a shilling.
SEC. : Here are letters from Liverpool and other
cities complaining that registered letters to Spain
282 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
were delivered, but minus the bank-notes. They can
get no compensation, and the consul at Malaga says
that letters are regularly tampered with.
P.M.-GEN. : Tell these good people that I am,
under Act of Parliament, not responsible.
A CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
SEC. : It is now lunch time and I have not gone
through a quarter of my complaints.
P.M.-GEN. : What about a consultative committee ?
It is unquestionably true that no business man would
dare to irritate his customers as we do in the Post
Office. As we have no business man in our de-
partment, might it not be worth while to adopt the
suggestion made for the appointment of a permanent
consultative committee of business men to sit with
me and advise me as to the requirements of the
SEC. : There are numerous fatal objections, the
first being that we officials should consider ourselves
deeply insulted, and should resign in a body. The
P.M.-GEN. : Say no more. Let us go to lunch.
Abdullah, Sultan, his banishment,
Aberdeen, Lord, in Edinburgh, 58
Addison, Joseph, quoted, 25
Adelaide, H. H. at, 100
Agricultural Conference in Jamaica,
Parcel Post, 279
Alexandra, Queen, thanks H. H.,
Algiers, 1 88
Allen, Captain J. D., 47
Alverstone, Lord, on Government
Amettes, France, 61
Amsterdam Exhibition, the, 10
Anderson, Sir James, on the Mauri-
tian cable, 81, 224
Anglo-American Parliamentary Chess
Tournament, an, 52
Penny Postage, n, 36, 83, 135,
157, 191-197. 27. 247
Anglo- Australian Parliamentary Chess
Match, an, 53
Penny Postage, establishment
of, II, 31, 180, 182-184, 199, 200,
Arctic expeditions, 145, 149
Ardfert Abbey, Kerry, 120
Arena, H. H. on cable reform in,
Argentine, the, H. H. in, 95
Argyll, Duke of, no
supports H. H., in, 198, 225,
Army and Navy Estimates, 17, 30
Arnold, E. M., 50
Artillery, Royal, officers of the, 156
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H., as Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer, 191
on H. H., 198
Athenaeum Club, the, 141
Atherley, Hamilton, 120
Australia, British Parliamentary party
cable communication with, 224,
Australia, Carlyle's interest in, 151
copper mines in, 159
gold mining in, 10, 16, 160
Government of, 79, 167, 168
H. H.'s early life in, 4-9, 131,
H. H.'s library on, 122
H. H. visits, 71, 85, 95-102,
141, 153, 168, 192, 220, 242
introduction of sheep into, 1 65
its contingent in the Darda-
its Navy, 101
" Member for," vii, 10, 169
postal communications of , n, 31,
174, 180-184, 199, 200, 210, 215-
Sir George Reid, High Com-
missioner for, 43, 48
tin-mines in, 165
Australian Banks, their testimonia
to H. H., 242
Commonwealth Building, the,
Australian Dictionary of Dates and
Men of the Time, The, g, 159
Australian Town and County Journal,
Austria, postal system of, 188, 279
Back River, the, 149, 150
Baker, Captain E. J., 72
Balcarres, Lord, as Junior Whip, 27
Balfour, Lady Frances, 113
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J., 15, 107, ill
defeated in 1906, 30, 31, 86
his gum-trees, 20
Sir H. Parkes on, 167
Bally hooley, 137
Banks, Sir John, Queen's Physician,
Barlow, Sir Thomas, 139
Barton, Mrs, of Geneva, 251
Bath, H. H. at, 139
Mr Birrell at, 22
284 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Bath Club, the, 197
H. H. at, 71, 103, 135, 147
Baxter, Mr, advocates Anglo-Ameri-
can Penny Postage, 191
Bay ley, G. B., 50
Beach, Mr Hicks, in Buenos Ayres, 95
Beach, W. W., his silence as M.P.,
Beechworth, Victoria, 161
Belfast, 239, 269
Belgium, cable service to, 140, 268
marriage in, 113
Bell, Moberly, anecdote of, 113
Sir J. C., Lord Mayor, 225
Bennett, E., 50
his tribute to H. H., 203
Bennett, Rose, her marriage with
H. H., 6-8
Bennett, Samuel, doyen of Australian
journalists, 5, 6, 166
Sir George Reid's tribute to, vii
Benson, Archbishop, his letter to
H. H., 46
Beresford, Lord Charles, ix, 15
on Penny Postage, 31-33
Berlin, International Telegraphic Con-
ference, 10, 8 1
Berne, H. H. at, 250
Berwick-on-Tweed, 1 73
Besant, Mrs, 67
Bexhill-on-Sea, H. H. at, 57, 138
Bicester, Middleton Park, 99
Big Ben, 18
Diamond Syndicate, the, 161
Bignold, Sir Arthur, on telegrams,
Bills, James, 50
Birch, James Woodford, murder of,
Birmingham, 180, 242
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine, on
Government Whips, 22
Blackwood, Stevenson, 140
Blyth, Lord, arranges the civic
welcome of H. H., 242-246
H. H.'s correspondence with,
128, 138-142, 247
his friendship with H. H., ix,
his interest in Penny Postage,
supports cable reform, 225
Boer War, the, 227
postal grievances of, 208, 209
Boldrewood, Rolf, Robbery under
Arms, 1 66
Book-collector, H. H. as a, 103, 122
Booth, General, 67
Bores, Parliamentary, 26
Borton, Sir Neville, P.M.G. of Egypt,
Boulanger, General, in Paris, 243
Bourne, Hon. Clarence, Chief Secre-
tary of Jamaica, 88
Brackenbury, General Sir Henry,
Lord Wolseley on, 156
Bradlaugh, Charles, 15
as a chess player, 51
Brian, M., P.M.G. of France, 190
Bribery in Canterbury, 42
Bridge, H. H.'s love of, 143
Bright, Charles, on cheap cabling,
Laurentius di, 61
Britain, Harry, inaugurates the Im-
perial Press Conference, 227
British Empire, federation of thei
League, welcomes H. H., n, 242-
British Navy, the, 154
Parliamentary visit to Aus-
Brougham, Lord, his anecdote of a
new M.P., 25
Brown, Tom, sketches by, 143
Browning, Robert, 207, 233
Bruce, Sir Charles, ix
his Mauritian policy, 80, 81
his tribute to H. H., 176-179
supports cable reform, 223
Brunton, Sir Lauder, 122
Bryce, Lord, on his Ambassadorship,
Buchanan, Mr, 72
Buckle, Mr, 166
Buenos Ayres, H. H., in 95
Bulwark, H.M.S., 31
Burnham, Lord, 227
Burns, John, High Commissioner for
South Africa, 49
Burrell, Hon. K. M. S., her marriage,
Burritt, Elihu, as postal reformer,
Butt, Clara, 42
Butters, J. S., 161
Buxton, Viscount, as P.M.G., 191-194,
Cable service, the, between the Cape
and Australia, 10, 81, 224, 225
between England, France and
Belgium, 140, 268
chess by, 52
Deferred Message system, 228
grievances in, 211
H. H. advocates reforms in,
jpenny-a-word, 49, 195, 222-231,
Calais, postage to, 183, 187
Callard, A. O., 50
Cambon, H. E. Paul, French Am-
Cambridge, University of, chess
tournaments of, 54
Camden Park, 165
Cameron, Mr, storekeeper, 161
Campbell - Bannerman, Sir Henry,
Lord Charles Beresford on, 33
Canada, Duke of Argyll, Governor
H. H. in, 87
imperial news in, 227
its postal system, 48, 178, 181,
183, 258, 259
Cannes, H. H. at, 66
Canonization, the ceremony of, 59
Canterbury, a fire at, 68
Cricket Week, 41
disfranchisement of, 42
H. H. a Freeman of, n, 39.
H. H. as M.P. for, n, 13, 37,
39-50, 55. 63, 68, 87, 132. 135, 145,
New Zealand, 43
Cape Colony, its cable communi-
cations, 81, 224
its postal relations, 181, 201
H. H. in, 59, 108, 135, 138, 213,
Carlton Club, the, 67, 246
H. H. as member of, 83, 115,
Carlyle, Life of, by Sir C. G. Duffy,
Carlyle, Thomas, H. H.'s interview
Carnarvon, Lord, H. H. meets, 140
Carnegie, Andrew, on postage and
peace, 156, 191, 192
Carpathian, S.S., 98
Carson, Sir Edward, on Home Rule,
Carter, Paterson & Co., Messrs, 211,
Cash-on-delivery system, the, 275
Cavendish, Lord Richard, his sale
of cattle, 141
Cayzer, Sir Charles, 22
Ceylon, H. H. in, 96
Chalmers, Sir Robert, Governor of
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Austen, ix
his interest in Penny Postage,
on telegraphic vagaries, 212
Chamberlain, Joseph, 15
his correspondence with H. H.,
his Fiscal policy, 33
his interest in postal reform,
Chamberlain, Mrs, 107
Channel Tunnel, the, 187
Chapman, Austin, P.M.G. of Aus-
tralia, 182, 220
Charing Cross Post Office, 238
Cheeke, Oswald, his letter to Lady
Chess, H. H.'s love of, 51-56, 70, 103
China, H. H. in, 82
postal communication with, 200,
Ching-Fong, Li, on Penny Postage,
Chisholm, Mrs, the Emigrant's Friend,
Choate, Joseph, his compliment, 122
Churchill, Lord Randolph, anecdote
of, 1 8
as a chess-player, 51
at Monte Carlo, 63
H. H.'s relations with, 15, 17,
Churchill, Major Winston, 108
Chulan, Rapas, 77
Cimiez, H. H. at, 63, 68
Clarke, Sir Edward, 15, 49
Clarke, Sir Fielding, in Jamaica, 89
Clemens, Samuel, 197. See Twain
Clifford, Sir Hugh and Lady, their
friendship with H. H., 96
Clinch, G., 50
Cockburn, Sir John, 49
Collard, Sir George, Mayor of Canter-
bury, 39, 40
Collins, Captain Muirhead, on cheap
286 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Collinson, explorer, 150, 151
Cologne, H. H. at, 63
Colombo, 72, 75
Colonial Conference, First, 217
Exhibition, Indian and, 10
Hereditary Peerage, a, 167
Office, its policy with regard
to Mauritius, 79-81
Parcel Post, 276
visitors in England, no, 115, 134
Colonies, the, their relations with
Comet, wreck of the, 160
Commerell, Admiral Sir Edward,
his breach of parliamentary order,
Compulsory training in New Zealand,
Conciliation Bill, 21
Conference, International Telegraphic,
in Berlin, 10, 81
Conservative Party, the, their defeat
in 1906, 29, 31-33
Constantine, Captain, in Jamaica, 88
Cooper, Fenimore, novels of, 3
Cooper, Thomas Sidney, R.A.,
anagram on, 148
Cork, Hon. Mr, in Jamaica, 88
Cotton, Sir Richmond, his address
to H. H., 240
Coupon reply stamps, 279
Covarrubias,M.,on Penny Postage, 208
Cowper, Maggie, 210
Cricket, H. H.'s love of, 41, 48
Cromwell, Oliver, 126
Crowe, P. W., on H. H., 9
Curzon of Kedleston, Earl, his cor-
respondence with H. H., 35
his tribute to H. H., ix, n, 242-
Cust, Henry, on H. H. as corre-
Daily Chronicle, The, quoted, 148
Daily Graphic, The, ix
Dardanelles, the, Australian con-
tingent in, 169
Dartmouth, Lord, on Anglo-French
Davidson, Colonel Sir Arthur, on
Anglo-French postal relations, 190
De La Rue, Messrs, their Post Office
stationery contract, 200
Denman, Lord, Governor-General of
Denominational Schools of Australia, 9
Deptford, M.P. for, 51
Derby, Earl of, 218
D'Eresby, Lord Willoughby, 120
Devonshire, Duke of, 243
his cattle sales, 142
Disraeli, caricature of, 78
on dinners, 105
Divorce Laws Commission, the, 113
Dixon, Charles, 143
Doughty, Lady, as hostess, 109
H. H. at, 213
Dublin, 188, 239
H. H. in, 140
Dufferin, Lord, quoted, 171
Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan, his career,
his friendship with H. H., 34,
65-68, 137, 151
his Life of Carlyle, 66
on Home Rule, 34, 140
Dupont, Emil, advocates Anglo-
French Penny Postage, 190
Earthquakes, H. H.'s experience of,
Eastern Telegraph Company, the,
opposes Mauritian cable, 81, 224
Eaton Square, H. H.'s home in, 78,
105, 117-125, 209, 238
H. H. in, 58
Mr Wallace M.P. for, 21
Education, denominational, 9
Edward VII., King, coronation of,
1 06, 120
his attitude to postal reforms,
184, 189, 190, 213, 242
kissed in Canterbury, 43
Egyptian Post Office, the, 204, 236,
Emden, sinking of the, 101
England, invasion of, 170
Express Delivery, 259
Fallieres, President, in London, 192,
Fergusson, Sir James, his postal
in Jamaica, 88
Fiji, cable to, 225
H. H. in, 85
postage to, 187
Financial Review of Reviews, the,
on cable reform, 223
Fiscal Reform, Lord Charles Beres-
ford on, 33
Fleming, Canon, H. H. on, 121
Fleming, Sir Sandford, his interest in
cable reform, 225
Forster, M.P., Arnold, in Jamaica, 88,
Fort William, 87
France, cable service to, 140
its postal relations with England,
183, 186-191, 201, 205
Franco-British Exhibition, the, 1908,
Franklin, Sir Benjamin, attends H. H.
in Switzerland, 251, 252
Franklin, Sir John, explorer, fate of,
Fraser, Sir William, 34
French, Viscount, supports H. H., 49,
Furley, Walter, 40
Gamble, Captain D. A., 47
Gay Golfers' Club, the, 30
Geard, Reginald, on H. H. at the
Savage Club, 142-144
Geneva, H. H.'s death and burial in,
George III., King, his sheep, 165
George IV., King, coronation of, 120
George V., King, his regret at H. H.'s
lays stone of Australian Com-
monwealth Building, 141
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd, at Monte
encouraged by H. H., 20
Germany, postal system of, 188, 190,
268, 273, 279
Girard, Professor, attends H. H., 251,
Gladstone, W. E., 15
anecdotes of, 19
bis Irish policy, 34, 67
Sir Henry Parkes on, 167
Glasgow, 239, 260
Glenroy, S.S., 74
Glossop, Captain John, 101
Glyn, Elinor, 108
Gold-mining in Australia, 10, 16,
Goonoo Goonoo Gap, 158
Gorst, Sir John, 15
Goschen, Lord, 15, 1 8
Government annuities, 280
Governor Ready, wreck of the, 160
Graham, Sir James, First Lord of
the Admiralty, 150
his death, 168
Green, General Sir Harry Rhodes,
Gregory, John William, 104
Gregson, Mrs G., 262
Guildhall, H. H. at the, n, 21,
Gully, Speaker, on chess, 52
Guy's Hospital, 280
Gwydyr, 4th Baron, 120
5th Baron, 12, 119
Haldane, Lord, in
meets Senator Root, 141
Half-penny Post, the, 209, 236, 269,
Hall, Admiral Sir George King, 101
Hall, W. R., 161
Hall- Jones, Sir William, High Com-
missioner for New Zealand, 48
Halsbury, Lord, 13
his letter to H. H., 138, 139
Hamilton, Lord Claude, as a chess-
enters Parliament with his
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis, Secretary
of State, 227
his popularity, 29
Harcourt, Lady, 107
Harcourt, Sir William, 15, 275
his correspondence with H. H.,
Hargreaves, Edward, 160
Harris, Lord, 47
Hart, Sir Robert, in Pekin, 82
in London, 83
Hassall, John, his menu for the
Hasted's History of Kent, 3
Hearn, H. J., 50
J- T., 50
288 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Heaton, Arthur Henniker, 53
his marriage, 120
Heaton, Elizabeth Ann, her marriage,
Heaton, Herbert Henniker, Assistant
Colonial Secretary of Mauritius, 81
his marriage, 120
in Fiji, 85
Heaton, Lt.-Col. John, 3
Heaton, Sir John Henniker, his birth
and education, 3, 4
his early life in Australia, 4, 131,
his journalistic experience, 5
his marriage, 6-9
contests N.S.W., 9
as " Member for Australia,"
settles in London, 10
is returned M.P. for Canterbury,
ii, 13, 39-5. 8 7. 132
his work as a Postal Reformer,
ii, 13, 31, 83, 132, 171, 200-214,
public recognition of his work,
ii, 99, 240-247
declines a K.C.M.G., ii
his experiences as an M.P., 13-
36, 106, 134-136
as a chess-player, 51-56
as a traveller, 57-102, 168
as a host, 103-116, 134
his home life, 117-125
his personality, 126-130
his friends, 137-157, 168
advocates Universal Penny
Postage, 174, 182
advocates Imperial Penny Post-
obtains Penny Postage to Aus-
tralia, 182, 215-221
advocates Anglo-French Penny
obtains Penny Postage to
advocates penny-a-word tele-
grams, 199, 222-231
his ideal post office, 233-239
his death, 248-254
Heaton, Sir John Henniker, son of
H. H., ii, 119, 254
Heaton, Lady Henniker, 82
Lord Westbury's letters to, 249-
Heaton, Peter Joseph Henniker, 22
Heaton, Reginald Henniker, 14, 120
Heaton, Rose Henniker, her marriage,
Heaton, William, ix
Hegel, quoted, 129 note
Hennessy, Sir John Pope, as] Gover-
nor of Mauritius, 79
his friendship with H. H., 79,
Henniker, John, 3
Hicks-Beach, Mr, in Buenos Ayres,
Sir Michael, 15, 95
Hill, Harrison, his verses on Macdona,
Hill, Sir Rowland, Father of Penny
Postage, 99, 173, 178, 241
Holker Hall, Lancashire, 141
Sir William, supports cable
Holt, P. H., 50
Home Rule for Ireland, 15, 34, 67,
80, 140, 145
Hong Kong, 183
H. H. in, 89
Hope, Anthony, on H. H.'s name,
House of Commons, the chess-players
- H. H. as a host at, 112, 134,
- H. H. as a member of, 13-38
H. H.'s description of life in,
Houstoun, Colonel, 120
Howard, Cardinal, 60
Hudson Bay Company, the, 150
Hughes, Sir Thomas and Lady, in
Idris, Sultan, 77
Imperial Chess Club, the, 55
Imperial Penny Postage, H. H. as
Father of, ii, 30, 31, 56, 66, 98-
100, in, 144, 154
Hassall's tribute to, 144
Lord Charles Beresford on, 31
Imperial Press Conference, the first,
Inchiquin, Lord, 153
India, H. H. in, 82
postal system of, 178, 183, 200,
Indian and Colonial Exhibition,
International Postage, 176
Telegraphic Conference in Berlin,
Ireland, H. H.'s love of, 58
Home Rule for, 15, 34, 67, 80,
Irish Land Bills, 14
Members of Parliament, 15
acks, Newton, 30
amaica, H. H. in, 87
ameson Raid, the, 32
apan, divorce laws in, 113
H. H. in, 57, 82
postal system of, 220
Jenner, Sir William, on Monte Carlo,
Jersey, Lord, his support of penny-
a-word telegrams, 223
his tribute to H. H., 99, 100
Johnson, Captain, 159
Johnson, Dr Samuel, on London, 58
Matthey & Co., Messrs, metal-
Jones, Atherley, 52
ones, Henry Arthur, at Windsor, 152
ournalists, Carnegie on, 156
Jupiter, wreck of the, 160
Kendall, Henry, his Rose Lorraine, 6
Kent, H. H.'s love of, 41. 47
House School, 4
Kent, H.M.S., 47
Killanin, Lord, his anecdotes, 106
his friendship with H. H., 106,
Kilmainham, Parnell in, 16
King, Yeend, V.P.R.I., at the Savage
King's College, London, H. H. edu-
cated at, 4
H. H. a Fellow of, 242
School, Canterbury, 41
King William Land, 149
Kingston, Jamaica, H. H. in, 87-94
Kipling, Rudyard, on postal reform,
quoted, 70, 94, 130, 165
Kitchener, Colonel, in Jamaica, 88
Kitchener, Earl, his tribute to H. H.,
public grant for, 20
Labouchere, Henry, anecdotes of, 27
his opposition to Gladstone, 67
Labour Party, the, 32
Labre, Joseph, 61
Lagos Bay, 31
Lambert, Captain Thomas, 40
Lambeth Palace, 22
Landale family, the, 165
Larking, R., 50
Lascelles, Mr, 197
Laurent, Dr, his tribute to H. H., 82
Law, Rt. Hon. Bonar, as a chess-
at the United Service Club, 141
Lawson, Hon. Harry, 227
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid, on his bull, 142
on H. H.'s postal reforms, 185
Lefroy, Dean, letters of, 140, 154,
Leisure Hour, The, ix
Le May, W. H., 50
Lemieux, Hon. R., P.M.G. of Canada,
Leo XIII., Pope, 60, 62
Liberal victory of 1906, 29, 31-33
Limerick, Ireland, 216
Lipton, Sir Thomas, 123
Liverpool, 239, 281
Lockwood, Frank, 15
Loder, Gerald, in Jamaica, 90
Lodgers' letters, 273
London, H. H. a Freeman of, n, 240
H. H. settles in, 10
pageant of, 197
Bishop of, quoted, 203
Londonderry, Lord, as P.M.G. , 207,
Longworth, Mrs Nicholas, 107
Senator the Hon. Nicholas, 191
advocates postal reform, 191
Lucas, E. V., quoted, 171
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred, his
interest in Penny Postage, 219
on cricket, 48
Macalister, J. Y. W., 266
MacArthur, John, Father of N.S.W.,
Macaulay, Lord, quoted, 175
Macdona, Gumming, M.P. for Rother-
Mackenzie, Mr, High Commissioner
for New Zealand, 139
SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Maclaren, Ian, quoted, 127
Madden, Admiral, his marriage, 22
Magazine post, 277
Mah6, Seychelles Is., 76
Mahon, the O'Gorman, 52
Maids of Kent, the, 47
Major, Professor, 251
Maloja, R.M.S., 98
Manchester Courier, The, on H. H.,
Mandat-carte system, the, 273
Marconi, Commendatore, meets
H. H.'s belief in, 228, 229
entertained by the Savages, 143
his friendship with H. H., ix,
49. 97. IQ 6, I0 7 IO 9. IIO > I2 9, I3&>
152, 153, 225
his marriage, 153
supports penny-a-word tele-
Marconi, Degnia, 109
Markham, Admiral Sir Albert, on
H. H., 212
Marlborough, the Duchess of, 107
Marples, George, of Omaha, 259
Marriage Acts, 30, 113
Martin, Robert, his friendship with
H. H., 137
Massingham, Mr, on H. H., 203
Maurice, Sir Frederick, Lord Wolseley
H. H.'s warm relations with,
Maxim, Sir Hiram, invention by,
M'Carthy, Justin, his correspondence
with H. H., 37, 112
M'Clintock, explorer, 151
Medway, the, 3
Melba, Madame, anecdote of, 101
Sir C. G. Duffy in, 168
Men of Kent and Kentish Men, the,
H. H. as President of, 47-50
Mercury, The, Parramatta, 5
Mermaid, wreck of the, 159
Messina, Straits of, 71
Methuen, Messrs, 171
Meyer, George, advocates Anglo-
American Penny Postage, 191, 192
Meynell, Mrs, her influence, 144
Meynell, Wilfred, his tribute to H. H.,
Meynell, Wilfred, H. H.'s friendship
Mexico, postal system of, 188, 207
Michael Angelo Buonarroti, 59
Milner, Lord, supports H. H., 225,
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald, in
as a chess-player, 52, 53
Money Orders, system of, 201, 272,
Monte Carlo, H. H. at, 63-65, 135
Montefalco, Clara de, 61
Montgomery, Captain, 279
Moore, Frankfort, 30
Morley, Earl, 141
Morris, Judge, 106
Sir Daniel, in Jamaica, 88
Motley, John Lothrop, Rise of the
Dutch Republic, 4
Motor Mail Coaches, 274
Mount Etna, 71
Mulock, Mr, P.M.G. of Canada, 179,
Murray, David, R.A., at Windsor,
Murray, Freeman, assists in the
welcome to H. H., 246
Murray, G. H., on circulars, 207
Natal, cable communications with,
Sir W. Peace, Agent-General
Nation, The, foundation of, 168
Navy Estimates, the, 17, 24
New Caledonia, 225
Newcastle-on-Tyne, 46, 133
New El Dorado, 161
Newnes, Sir George, as a chess-
on Rougemont, 115
New Ross, 1 68
New South Wales, H. H. contests, 9
John Mac Arthur, Father of, 165
represented by H. H. in Amster-
dam and London, 10
Sir J. P. Hennessy offered the
government of, 79
Newspapers, postage of, 237, 239,
Newton, Sir William, his corre-
spondence with H. H., 78
New York, 183, 258
H. H. in, 105
New Zealand, compulsory training
Governorship of, 1 1 1
offers support to the British
Penny Postage to, 31, 217, 218,
Sir J. M. Ward as P.M.G. of,
Nice, H. H. at, 102, 205
Sir C. G. Duffy at, 34, 65
Nichols, Willie, songs by, 143
Nineteenth Century, The, ix, 119
A Morning with the P.M.G., 257
postage of, 272, 277
Nobel Peace Prize, the, H. H. a
candidate for, 242
Norfolk, the Duke of, as P.M.G., 176,
Northcliffe, Lord, 227
Northcote, Lord, Governor-General
of Australia, 215
Dean Lefroy of, 186
Nurnberg, the, sunk by H.M.S. Kent,
O'Brien, Hon. Beatrice, her marriage,
Obstructionist policy, the, 127
O'Connell, Daniel, his trial, 168
O'Connor, T. P., his friendship with
H. H., ix, 131-137
Odell, " Harvest Home," 143
O'Grady, Mike, 106
Oxford pageant, the, 197
University of, chess tournaments
Yeomanry, the, 1 1
Paganini, method of, 198
Paget, Mr and Mrs Algernon, ix, 120
Paisley, Earl Rosebery at, 216
Pall Mall Club, the, H. H. at, 148
Panama Canal, the, 35, 67
Pankhurst, Christabel, apologizes for
Parcel Post, the, 237, 238, 260., 276
Paris, 243, 274, 275
H. H. in, 190
telephonic communication with
Parkes, Sir Henry, his influence on
H. H., 67, 166
Parks Government, the, 9
Parliamentary etiquette, 19, 23, 28
Parnell, Charles, as a chess-player, 51,
H. H.'s friendship with, 15,
Parramatta, H. H. in, 5, 166
Party politics, Lord Charles Beresford
Pasture, Mrs Henry de la, 96
Patey, Admiral Sir George, 101
Patriotism, Lord Charles Beresford
Patterson, A. B., quoted, 174
Patti, Adelina, 233
Pau, H. H. in, 66
Peace, Sir Walter, Agent-General
for Natal, 181
Pearson, Arthur, 227
Peel, Rt. Hon. A. W., 15
Sir Robert, 15, 25, 251
Penny Post, The, H. H. edits, 5
Penny Postage, the, viii, n
Imperial, H. H. advocates, 175-
supported by the Times,
Universal, in, 174, 182-186,
Perak, Sultans of, 76, 77
Peshawur, S.S., H. H.'s voyage on,
Philately, H. H.'s love of, 78
Phillips, John, wireless operator, 98
Phillips, Sir Owen, Chairman of the
supports cable reform, 225
Pickford, Messrs, 211
Pigott, Dr Turtle, 144
Pigott, Mostyn, 143
Pilcher, R., 50
Pills, advertisement of, 205
Pirie, D. V., on Anglo-French postage,
Plumbers, Worshipful Company of,
Plummer, Edward, 40
Plunkett, Sir Horace, 52
Poetry, H. H.'s love of, 121
Pope, Alexander, Essay on Man 4.
Port Antonio, Jamaica, H. H, in
Port Kingston, S.S., 93
Port Raffles, 160
292 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Port Said, H. H. at, 225
Porter, Colonel Morton, 120
Porter, Major Adrian, King's Mes-
senger, 102, 120
Postal Cards, 269
Estimates, the, 209
Guide, the, 278
Orders, poundage on, 20, 265
Reforms, advocated by H H.,
viii, 37, 49, 233-239, 257-282
compensation questions, 211
getting a letter back, 108
for postage due, 65, 196, 277
Penny Postage, viii, n, 37,
49, 135, 175-186, 217-221
red book of stamps, 204, 271
Postal Union, the Congress at Wash-
Congress at Rome, 184
Postmarks, system of, 84, 85, 205,
209, 276, 277
Postmaster-General, the, " A morning
harassed by H. H., 13, 49, 95,
Post Office, the evolution of, 171-173
rebellion in, 140
Post Office Savings Bank, 236, 275,
Post Office Vote, the, 24
Preferential tariffs, 276
Press Conference, first Imperial, 226
Protection, policy of, 32, 33
Questions in Parliament, 14, 24, 132
Rae, Dr John, explorer, 145, 149-151
Raffles Bay, 159
Raikes, Cecil, as P.M.G., 13, 133, 140,
Randies, Sir John, his letter to H. H.,
Ranfurly, Earl, ex-Governor of New
Rawson, Mrs Arthur, founds the
Imperial Chess Club, 55
Redmond, John, his friendship with
H. H., 137
Redmond, William, 123, 137
Registration fees, 277
rleid, Sir George, anecdotes of, 43,
High Commissioner for Aus-
tralia, 48, 141
his tribute to H. H., vii-ix
Reid, Whitelaw, American Ambas-
sador, 107, 140, 191-194
Renown, S.S., 225
Renshaw, Colonel Charles, ix
Review of Reviews, The, 67
Rhodes, Rt. Hon. Cecil, on Penny
Richard III., Tree as, 109, no
Ridge, Pett, novels of, 123
Riley, James Whitcomb, 147
Rio de Janeiro, H. H. in, 94, 95
Ritchie, M.P., 35
Roberts, Earl, 140
on Penny Postage, 184
Roberts, Rev. C. F., 262
Robertson, J. P. B., 15
Rochester, H. H.'s birth and child-
hood at, 3
Rome, H. H. in, 59, 66
family, the, 165
Rome, Claude, 138
Roosevelt, Alice, 107
Roosevelt, Theodore, as President, 107
his interest in postal questions,
Root, Senator Elihu, at the United
Service Club, 141
on Anglo-American Penny Post-
Rose Lorraine, 6-8
Rosebery, Earl, on Penny Postage,
Rosmead, Lord, his friendship with
H. H., 137
Rossi, Joannes Baptista, 61
Rotherhithe, the M.P. for, 29, 30
Rougemont, Louis de, 115
Royal Colonial Institute, the, con-
siders penny-a-word telegrams, 223,
H. H. a Fellow of, 242
Royal Society of Literature, the,
H. H. a Fellow of, 242
Rumford, Kennerly, 42
Rural postmen, 280
Russell, Sir Charles, 15
his love of chess, 51
Russell of Killowen, Lord, his friend-
ship with H. H., 105, 137
Russia, Labouchere in, 27
Rutherford, Watson, M.P., on H. H.
as a chess-player, 54
Ryan, P. F. W., his Stuart Life and
Saba Pasha, his friendship with H. H.,
Salisbury, Marchioness of, 20
Salisbury, Marquess of, as Premier,
H. H. on, 140
Lord Randolph on, 18
Sir C. G. Duffy on, 35
on H. H., 20
Sample Post, 200, 278
Samuel, Rt. Hon. Herbert, as P.M.G.,
ix, 49, 204-206, 228, 232, 245
Sir Saul, opposes Imperial
Penny Postage, 217
Sargent, John, 126, 147
Sassoon, Sir Edward, 35
his interest in postal reform,
supports cable reform, 225
Saunderson, Colonel, 15
Savage Club, the, H. H. at, 109, 142-
Scotland, H. H. on, 58, in
Seaman, Sir Owen, quoted, 62
Senham, Hennikers of, 3
Seychelles, Abdullah's banishment in
the, 76, 77
Shamrock, the, 123
Shaughnessy, Sir Thomas, President
of the C.P.R., 87
Shaw, Sir Charles, 52
Shelley, P. B., quoted, 121
Sheridan, R. B., quoted, 122
Shine, A. H., 50
Simla, Viceregal Lodge, 35
Sinclair, Archdeacon, at Windsor,
Skibo Castle, 156
Smith, W. H., 15, 1 8
Snead-Cox, Mr, his tribute to, H. H.,
Society Islands, the, 187
South Africa, postal system of,
African War, the, 32, 227
America, H. H. in, 94, 95
Southampton, H. H. at, 94, 138
South Australia, 217
Chief -Justice of, 71
Spender, J. A., 227
Spicer, Sir Albert, supports cable
Stamfordham, Lord, 254
meets Lord Blyth, 141
Stanley, Lord, as P.M.G., 184, 202,
Stanley, H. M., on London, 142
Stead, W. T., H. H.'s intercourse with,
his ghost, 67
Stephens, Brunton, 166
Stevenson, R. L., 118
St George of England, Royal Society
St Martin's-le-Grand, 181
relations of H. H. with, 15, 198,
203, 204, 209
Stone, Sir Benjamin, photographs
by, 34, 106
Storrie, A. L., quoted, 71
Strathcona, Lord, High Commissioner
for Canada, 48, 49
his tribute to H. H., 137
supports penny-a-word tele-
grams, 223, 225
Strickland, Sir Gerald, Governor of
N.S.W., 101, 169
Strong, Sir Vesey, Lord Mayor of
London, 139, 229-231
Sullivan, Sir Arthur, anecdote of,
Sunday, observance of, 46
post, the, 260, 261
Swettenham, Sir Alexander, Governor
of Jamaica, 88, 92
Sir Frank, his Malay Sketches,
Swiftsure, wreck of the, 159
Switzerland, postal system of,
H. H. in, 5-9, 95, 98, 101, 102,
1 66, 1 68
Samuel Bennett in, viii, 5
Sydney, H.M.A.S., 101
Symon, Sir Josiah, 71
Talbot-Crosbie, Lindsay, 120
Tarn worth, M.P. for, 25
H. H. represents, in Berlin, 10
Telegrams, penny-a-word, 55, 199,
205, 222-231, 245, 258, 268
reply forms, 264-266
Telegraph Department, vagaries of,
Money Order, the, aoi, 272,
294 SIR JOHN HENNIKER HEATON
Telegraphic Conference in Berlin,
International, 10, 81
reforms advocated by H. H.,
Telephone service, the, 268
Temple, Archbishop, 39, 45
Sir Richard, 15
Tennant, Sir David, Agent-General
for the Cape, 181
Tenterfield races, 159
Thomas, Hon. Josiah, P.M.G. of
Australia, 215, 220
Thompson, Henry, 50
Thompson, Miss Skemngton, 145
Thunderbolt, Captain, bushranger,
Thurn, Sir Everard im, Governor of
Times, The, ix, 5, 52, 67
governed by Moberly Bell, 113
Parnell forgeries in, 16
supports H. H., 175. 181, 201,
Timora Gold Field, 10
Titanic, loss of the, 97, 98, 152
Tokio, H. H. in, 105
Torch, H.M.S., 53
Torres Straits, 159
Toryism in Canterbury, 39
Townshend, Mr, 161
Tree, Sir Herbert Beerbohm, as
Richard III., 109, no
Trocadero, the, H. H. feted at, 48
Turkish bath, the, H. H.'s belief in,
Twain, Mark, anecdotes by, 103-105
his letter to H. H. on postage,
Tweedmouth, Lord, in
United Service Club, the, 141, 194
United States of America, divorce
laws of, 114
H. H. in. 83-85
chess tournament with the
land an armed force in Jamaica,
Penny Postage between Eng-
land and, n, 36, 83, 135, 157,
188, 191-197, 207, 247
Universal Penny Postage, Duke of
Argyll on, in
H. H. advocates, 174, 182
Vaughan, Archbishop, on denomina-
tional education, 9
Father Bernard, anecdote of,
Victoria, Australia, 217
Sir C. G. Duffy in, 168
Victoria, Queen, anecdote of, 180
coronation of, 120
Diamond Jubilee of, 177
her letter to H. H., 242
visits Canterbury, 43
Villiers, Rev Henry Montague, bis
cable grievance, 211
Virginian, S.S., 98
Wace, Dean, 40
on early rising, 103
Wacher, Dr Frank, 40
Wagga Wagga, N.S.W., 161
Walker, Alexander, constable, 159
Walking-sticks, H. H.'s collection of,
Wall, Edward Cant, secretary to
H. H., 119
Wallace, Mr, death of, 21
Waller, George Platt, American Vice-
Consul in Carlsbad, 248, 249
Walter, Arthur, encourages chess, 52
Walton, Sir Joseph, in Paris, 190
Wanamaker, Hon. John, advocates
Anglo-American Penny Post, 83,
his friendship with H. H., 44-
46, 83, 147
Ward, Dudley, M.P., anecdote of,
Ward, Frederick, bushranger, 158
Ward, Hon. Mrs John, 107
Ward, Sir Joseph, advocates Penny
Postage, 182, 184, 218
in Canterbury, 43
Prime Minister of N.Z.,
War Office, the, 24
H. H. crosses swords with, 33
Warwick, Australia, 159
Postal Congress at, 178
Way, Sir Samuel, entertains H. H.,
Webbe, A. J., his daughters, 123-125
Webster, Sir Richard, as M.P., 15,
Weekly Graphic, The, ix
Wellington, the Duke of, 33, 57
Wentworth, William Charles, quoted,
Westbury, Lord, his kindness to
H. H., 249-252
Western Australia, 217
gold in, 1 6
government of, 79
West Indies, the, H. H. in, 87-94,
Westminster Bridge, 18
Palace Hotel, the, 178
Whips, Government, 22, 23, 27
Whittaker, T. S., 50
Whittingehame, gum-trees at, 20
Wickham, F., 262
Wicklow, Parnell in, 17
Wilkens, H. T., 50
William IV., coronation of, 120
Wilson, John, 180
Wireless Telegraphy, H. H. on, 228
Wolseley, Field-Marshal Viscount,
on the education of officers, 155,
Women Suffrage, H. H. as an advo-
cate of, 21
Woodbridge, Suffolk, 271
Woolwich, officers' education at, 156
Yokohama harbour, 95
Zurich, H. H. at, 251
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